Roma Shane Ryan (born 20 January in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an Irish writer, poet, and lyricist, currently living in Artane, Ireland, with her husband Nicky.
Ryan is the primary lyricist for the singer Enya, who has stated that the importance of Roma's and Nicky's contributions are such that without them, "Enya" would not exist.
Biography and work with Enya:
Roma and Nicky Ryan met Enya in 1978; Nicky was managing Enya's family's band Clannad. Enya had just finished secondary school when Nicky Ryan rang her, asking if she would become a member of the group. The Ryans and Enya left Clannad several years later to focus on their own musical careers. Enya originally wrote instrumental melodies. Roma found these melodies "very visual" and suited to film work; she began to write lyrics to them.
Ryan's lyrics for Enya have won Grammy Awards; the song "May It Be" for the The Lord of the Rings film The Fellowship of the Ring was nominated for an Oscar.
Her lyrics can be heard in films such as The Frog Prince (1984), Green Card (1990), L.A. Story (1991), Toys (1992), Cry, the Beloved Country (1995), and Calmi Cuori Appassionati (2001), all of which feature Enya's music.
Loxian language and solo work: Water Shows the Hidden Heart:
In 2005, Ryan created a new language known as Loxian, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Elvish language, for Enya's album Amarantine. This language can be heard on three tracks from "Amarantine": "Less Than a Pearl", "The River Sings" and "Water Shows the Hidden Heart". Enya has mentioned in interviews that Roma developed Loxian while writing lyrics for the track "Water Shows the Hidden Heart"; she and Enya had attempted to write lyrics for the track in Latin, Gaelic and English and been disappointed with the results. The first Loxian phrase created by Roma--"Syoombraaya"--is the title of that track ("Water Shows the Hidden Heart").
She has undertaken several projects without Enya, including a book describing the Loxian language called Water Shows the Hidden Heart. The book also contains poetry and stories written by Ryan. "Water Shows the Hidden Heart" was released in two editions: the first edition as a standalone item, shortly after the release of Amarantine in 2005. The first edition features a short introduction by Enya. The second edition was included on the Deluxe Collector's Edition of Amarantine boxed set in early 2006. It omitted Enya's introduction and added colour images, as well as containing a different selection of Ryan's poetry. Neither version is currently in print, although they may be obtained second-hand from various sources.
Roma is a visual artist as well as a poet and writer; her artwork, as well as selected poems, may be viewed at her official website, www.romaryan.com, and associated Loxian websites.
The Loxian Games and the Unity forum:
Roma Ryan has been the coordinator of two on-line competitions at Enya's official website, enya.com--the First and Second Loxian Games, which have both been completed. Ryan announced the games on the official website in August 2008; the first Games began on 1 September 2008 and the second Games in September of the following year. Ryan says of the games: "The Games are a series of treasure hunts and you can tell by the name that they're based on the Loxian language you heard on Amarantine. They are games of riddles and clues and of you, looking for answers. As with most treasure hunts - there are prizes to be won. As with most treasure hunts you do not know what prize you may have won!" The winners for both Games have been announced on the official forum, unity.enya.com. Roma provides the majority of Aigle's contact with fans on the official website and also communicates periodically on the Unity forum.
Roma and Nicky have two daughters, Ebony and Persia, who also contributed artwork and layout to Amarantine.