I love this CD. The music instantly transports the listener to a mythical time. Soothing and beautiful. Calming and mystical. Alluring melodies and an angelic voice combine to bring life to the story of Mearra – Selkie from the Sea. Wonderful.
The ancient Celtic legend of the Selkie, a mythical seal with the mysterious ability to metamorphose into a human being, is the setting for Chicago-based singer/songwriter Linda Marie Smith’s fourth album, Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, to be released in February 2014. (Linda Marie Smith, $15.00, for ages 9 – adult, run time 42 minutes.)
Mearra – Selkie from the Sea transports listeners, inviting chldren 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 “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. The jazziest number on the album is “Heaven Knows,” with its upbeat rhythm set by piano, concertina, and enthusiastic hand clapping. “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.
Linda Marie Smith reflects, “As a child I was captivated by fairy tales and folklore. I loved being transported to other worlds where the impossible was possible. These mystical adventures fired my imagination, which is why I think I eventually became a songwriter. Folklore involves fantastic people or animals and brings our attention to things we value most highly, fear most deeply, and hope for most ardently. My spirit and childlike innocence were rekindled while doing research for Mearra – Selkie from the Sea. The Selkie myth inspired and challenged me to shed my own skin, reveal my true self, and boldly express my heartfelt desires.”
Want to keep up with all things Linda Marie Smith? You can like her on Facebook.
Ready to buy? Head on over to Linda’s Website and get ya a copy or two. Available in February 2014. I received a copy of the CD for review.