A Celtic Fairytale Fantasy
“Mearra ~ Selkie From The Sea”
Airing nationally on PBS in 2016, Linda Marie Smith’s performance of “Mearra~Selkie From the Sea” was filmed at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago by Chris Olsen of Kai Harding Inc.. It premiered in March of 2015 on PBS in Chicago.
Throughout the performance, Linda’s original songs play alongside the beautiful cinematic animation created by Catherine and Sarah Satrun, adding layers of richness to this joyous and emotional tale of love, loss and transformation.
Linda Marie Smith © 2015
Library Life - MEARRA ~ SELKIE FROM THE SEA
by Linda Marie Smith © 2014 - Quartet
Linda Marie Smith’s quartet performing in a more intimate setting for the Mount Prospect Library’s cable show, "Library Life" with Cathy Cushing.
Linda talks about her creation and enchantment with,
“Mearra ~ Selkie From The Sea”.
Linda Marie Smith © 2014
- • A Celtic fairy tale fantasy
- • A timeless love story
- • A musical, magical, multimedia event
The ancient Celtic tale of the Selkie is the setting for Mearra—Selkie from the Sea, a musical multimedia extravaganza. Audiences of all ages are drawn into this unforgettable family friendly presentation based on the story of a mythical seal with the mysterious ability to metamorphose into a human being.
Infusing Linda Marie Smith's original, richly orchestrated songs with evocative, hand-drawn, animated images (created by the spectacular Catherine and Sarah Satrun), Mearra—Selkie from the Sea presents an enigmatic and bittersweet story of love, loss, and transformation that begins with Mearra, a young Selkie maiden, who falls in love with a lonely fisherman (Ian) who is equally entranced by her supernatural beauty. Mearra bids farewell to her life in the sea, marries Ian, and starts a family. However, seven years later, the sea inexorably calls for Mearra's return.
Her son Morlo also a Selkie, feels the strong pull to live in the sea with his mother. Ian and daughter Ffion, who are connected to the land, must stay behind when the day of the inevitable departure of Mearra and Morlo arrives. Despite the difficulty of this moment, the family knows that their love will be everlasting and will keep them together forever.
Smith says "Mearra's story is a relevant experience for all human beings. Love is the most important thread in the human existence. We yearn for it, we risk our lives for it, we succumb to it, we thrive in it."
With a genre-crossing vocal style that encompasses a folk/rock sensibility, Linda Marie Smith’s music is romantic, soulful, earthy, and mystical, with lyrics and melodies that weave colorful stories of curious places and intriguing people. Linda has been compared to the likes of Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan and Celtic music composer Loreena McKennitt.
Mearra ~ Selkie from the Sea transports listeners, inviting children and adults alike to use their imaginations as they enter an enchanted world that has inspired writers and composers like Yeats, Synge, and Arnold Bax for centuries.
The highly evocative, semi-symphonic "Ian's Song" sets a mood of Celtic mystery. "Mearra" follows, and the listener is swept up in an expansive cloud of orchestral colors created by strings, percussion, and synthesizer that conjures images of sea, sky, and a wild, rocky coastline. The melodic line and tastefully expressive phrasing of Linda Marie Smith's vocals effectively carry the story while never distracting from it. "All This and More" delivers a change of pace with something of a Nashville country sound, which effectively introduces a human element into the watery, mystical world of the Selkie, while "Water Green—Blue Sky" returns to the impressionistic colors of the sea. The jazziest number on the album is "Heaven Knows," with its upbeat rhythm set by piano, concertina, and enthusiastic hand clapping. The purity of Linda Marie Smith's voice is perfect for the mystical "Seals of Silver and Gold," whose lyrics pose questions for listeners to ponder. "Surrender to the Sea" opens with a piano interlude reminiscent of Claude Debussy, and the vocal line proclaims, "I hear them calling," offering a hint of what is to come.
Other highlights include "One More Kiss," with its luxuriant background of the string ensemble blending with waves of haunting electronic sounds, and "To Be With You," a heartfelt ode that employs the sweeping sound of the suspended cymbal to introduce the second verse, which ponders the mystery of ocean and Selkie, as the humans go in search of Mearra.
"Smith's original, richly orchestrated songs are complemented by evocative, hand-drawn, animated images that help tell this enigmatic and bittersweet story of love, loss, and transformation." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
"Once again, Linda Marie Smith has shown herself to be an extraordinary artist inspired to creatively and deftly weave an engaging story with her music and use of visual art. Mearra, Selkie from the Sea tells a story that will take you away!"
~ Lilli Kuzma, host of "Folk Festival" on 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio
"It's such a beautiful tale that's brought to life with the perfect mixture of theater, score, and vocals. I highly suggest." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ AJ Garcia, http://shakefire.com/review/linda-marie-smith-mearra-selkie-from-the-sea
"MEARRA is thoughtful song-craft lushly orchestrated by studio-caliber musicians and expertly produced by Rich Rankin; and it's all carried by Smith's clear and rich and compellingly emotive vocal." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Gregory Carter, Chicago Indie Music Live
"Linda Marie Smith's new concept album Mearra: Selkie from the Sea is one of the most original concept albums that this critic has ever heard." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Phil Sayblack, Phil's Picks
"Haunting and heartrending, Mearra - Selkie from the Sea is highly recommended." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Midwest Book Review
"Although this is not a children's CD, it makes a beautiful bedtime CD for my daughters." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Motherhood Moment
"Linda Marie Smith has such a lovely voice and the stories on the album are truly beautiful and inspiring." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Take it From Me
"The music instantly transports the listener to a mythical time." [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Texas Kitchen
Mearra Selkie From The Sea is a brilliant example of folk music with a good strong story and a genuine love for the mythology that forms the album's subject matter. [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Paul Foxon, Bucket List Music Reviews
... a set of gentle, lush tunes with the lilt and air of Ireland about them. Smith’s refined alto voice fits perfectly, leading the tunes with an earthy, storyteller's vibe. [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ Independent Clauses
The music moves along like the gentle flow of water as Linda's vocals are soulful and pure. ...transport you to a simpler time when everything works together in unison... as you are easily swept up by the music. [READ FULL REVIEW]
~ J. Pasinski, JP’s Music Blog
March 1st, Tuesday
WDCB - College of DuPage
Concert @ 7:00pm
Radio Interview @ 8:00pm
March 13th, Sunday @ 2:00pm
Wheaton Public Library
225 Cross Street
March 19th, Saturday @ 1:00pm
Morton Grove Library
6140 Lincoln Avenue
Mroton Grove, IL
March 20th, Sunday @ 1:00pm
Vernon Area Public Library
300 Half Day Road
Lincilnshire, IL 60069
March 30th, Wednesday @ 7:00pm
Poplar Creek Library
1405 S. Park Avenue
"The Triumph of Artemisia"
July 24th, Sunday @ 2:00pm
Rolling Meadows Library
3110 Martin Lane
Rolling Meadows, IL
WYCC PBS CHANNEL 20!!!!!!!!!!!
MEARRA ~ SELKIE FROM THE SEA
The Debut Concert filmed at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY,
MARCH 7TH @ 7pm
MARCH 8th @ 8pm
MARCH 12th @ 3am
March 15th, 4pm
TUESDAY, JULY 21ST, AT 7PM
MEARRA ~ SELKIE FROM THE SEA
PROSPECT HEIGHTS LIBRARY
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19TH AT 7:00 PM
MEARRA ~ SELKIE FROM THE SEA
ROLLING MEADOWS LIBRARY
MEARRA ~ Selkie From The Sea
SPECIAL SUNDAY MATINEE
DECEMBER 7th AT 3:00PM
The Old Town School of Folk Music
Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60025
call for tickets 773.728.6000
LINDA MARIE SMITH
discusses her influences
on SWEET FOLK CHICAGO with Rich Warren
Saturday November 29th, 7:00 to 8:00 PM98.7 WFMT Radio
APPEARING on FEARLESS RADIO
Wednesday December 3rd at 1:00 PM
Catch Linda on RADIO ONE CHICAGO
WLUW 88.7 FM
Thursday November 13th at 6:30 PM
Listen to Linda on RADIO DEPAUL
Buffalo Bro Radio 1/2 Hour from
Sunday November 23rd at 9:00 AM
Linda Marie Smith
To purchase music, send check or money order for $18 (USD):
Linda M. Smith, Ltd.
5059 N. Kilbourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630