MEARRA~SELKIE FROM THE SEA PROMOTIONAL TRAILER
MEARRA (song) from the Animated Debut Concert at the Irish American Heritage Center | March 1, 2014
On the heels of her successful original multi-media music show "The Triumph of Artemisia," Linda Marie Smith presents another magical performance. "Mearra—Selkie From the Sea" is a one-of-a-kind live music performance featuring original songs, rich orchestrations and evocative video-projected imagery.
As a child, Smith was fascinated by the folklore of the sea, even believing that mystical creatures inhabited the icy waters of the deep. She still believes. From the songwriter's perspective, Smith says "I never know what the next creation will be about, but one day, on a very cold January afternoon, the Muse whispered in my ear and I began writing."
Smith's creative imagination led her to write a song cycle about the Celtic story of a Selkie, a mythical seal that has the mysterious ability to shed its skin and transform into a human being. The tale begins with Mearra, a young Selkie maiden, who falls in love with a lonely fisherman named Ian. From the moment he sees her, Ian is enchanted by her beauty. So, Mearra bids farewell to her life in the sea, marries Ian and starts a family.
However, a Selkie cannot live on the land forever. After seven years, Mearra must return to the sea. 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."
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.
"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]
~ Bryan Cahpin, 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
Performing - THE TRIUMPH OF ARTEMISIA
NOVEMBER 5TH WEDNESDAY 7 PM
ST. CLOUD UNIVERSITY
720 4TH AVENUE SOUTH
ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA 56301
APPERING on RADIO ONE CHICAGO
WLUW 88.7 FM
Thursday November 13th at 6:30 PM
APPERING on RADIO DEPAUL
Buffalo Bro Radio 1/2 Hour
Sunday November 23rd at 9:00 AM
LINDA MARIE SMITH
discusses her influences
on SWEET FOLK CHICAGO with Rich Warren
Saturday November 29th, 7:00 to 8:00 PM
98.7 WFMT Radio
Performing MEARRA ~ Selkie From The Sea
Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:00 PM
1930 Glenview Road
Glenview IL 60025
APPERING on FEARLESS RADIO
Wednesday December 3rd at 1:00 PM
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
Performing - MEARRA ~ Selkie From The Sea
MARCH 22ND SUNDAY, AT 4 PM
THE PLEASANT HOUSE
217 HOME AVENUE
OAK PARK, IL 60302
Contact & Booking
Linda Marie Smith
|OR||Publicity and Marketing Agent
NoVo Management and Publicity
1532 N. Milwaukee Suite #204
Chicago, IL 60622
To purchase music, send check or money order for $18 (USD):
Linda M. Smith, Ltd.
5059 N. Kilbourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630