Mary Sarah
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"The Daily Record"

A Voice of the World

Morristown Singer Mary Sarah
Knows No Boundaries


Not much impresses New Yorkers. But this New York crowd was impressed with Mary Sarah, a tiny woman with a big voice that enveloped the room when she sang her mystical songs. The room was Arlene Grocery, a brick-walled former market on the city's Lower East Side, now a club where rock bands showcase for music executives. With four bands a night, each one's invited guests are unlikely to know anything about the other acts on the bill.

But even these strangers stopped and paid attention to this performer, especially when she stepped from behind her keyboard, picked her way through equipment to center stage, and wailed the startling highs and lows of her song "O Note of O."

If people can feel the forces of nature, that's what I hope the music creates, Mary Sarah said a few days later in her Morristown home. Whether it's turbulent, almost like a tornado, then it cools out into a calm or a bubbling brook, I like the thought that people are touching natural forces. The same forces that operate in our emotions and states of mind.

In Mary Sarah's voice you can hear the banshee wail of such women as Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Sinead O'Conner. The sounds at once haunting and ancient, then playful and free seem to stem from sources deep within her. These are sounds, she says, "she just hears," but which have led her to explore the genre of World music. Her songs are poetic, often reflecting upon societies dilemmas and the delicate paradoxes of our human condition. They stem from her "awakenings" and realizations as a therapist for many years. For Sarah, it is about listening to the world of sound within her and witnessing the ever changing environment around her.

Though she'd been singing since she was 11, Mary Sarah devoted most of her early artistic energies to dance. But when people would hear her sing, they would always ask the question, "Why aren't you singing full-time." The calling came soon after when she sang for a Nigerian Officiation Celebration. One of the tribal princes came up to her and told her she was to be an ambassador of peace with her voice.

In fact, she wants her music to be a force for social change, following the example of artists such as U2 and Peter Gabriel. "My idea of America is to not just to give each other freedom of speech, but to give each other the power to have a voice....which is different.
- by Jim Bohen


"The Morris Magazine"

Journey to the Center of the Soul

If you've been to Morristown's Velvet Lounge, you've likely heard Mary Sarah, a singer and songwriter of New World Ambient Music whose accomplishments are stacking up and grabbing attention. But it is not just in Morristown that you'll find a Mary Sarah following. The artist is known throughout the tri-state area, and in Canada, playing at clubs in New York, Union and Montreal. And in the works: the possibility of a full blown tour.

The music Mary Sarah creates is mystical and moody. Filled with lush melodies and pulsing rhythms, it envelopes you and takes you in. In Sarah's words, arriving to this sound
"has been a journey." One she couldn't have done without the help of producer, Danys Levasseur, a world musician, living in Quebec, whose aesthetic brings out the essence of Sarah's work. Together they created her newest work, "O" and are in pre-production for a new release titled, "Oh, We" set for an international market.

Focusing on the voice as an instrument, Mary Sarah has been noted among sound healers.
Dr John Beaulieu, author of Music and Sound in the Healing Arts, states that "Mary Sarah's voice creates color activating different energy centers in the body and causing flexibility in the energy field," something that he feels directly relates to physical and mental health. Using her music for healing and empowerment is something Mary Sarah does regularly. Working in juvenile detention centers, prisons, shelters and group homes, Mary Sarah conducts regular workshops in Music and Sound for at-risk youth and AIDS addicted individuals.

Mary Sarah's music brings together so many elements. It carries messages of hope and togetherness, reality and beauty, while always reminding you that music has the power to create connection, where there was none before. - by Kathy Gilligan


"E-Magazine"


Mary Sarah is the ethereal goth scene's answer to Ani DiFranco. Creating album after album of songs crafted with the utmost care in order to provide the listener with a complete experience. The music evokes visions of nature-worshipping youths clad in white flames, dancing through the forests in the early morning. In a genre that includes bands like the Cocteau Twins, Lycia, and perhaps Enya, Mary Sarah is original in that they add experience in experimental rhythm into the music, thus one can groove to their tracks in addition to succumbing to their hypnotic effect. If you're into really well-produced, seriously artistic music, you will love Mary Sarah. - by Dave Lee Beuwulf


Discography

Blade of Love, EP 1994
Night Vision, CD 1996
Tenderness, EP 1997
Sea Fire Burn, CD 1997
O, EP 1998-1999
Oh, We, CD 2001-2002 (in production)

Featured artist Radio Montreal,
WBAI, WBGO, WRGB New York City as well as numerous college radio stations throughout the Northeast and the Midwest

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Featured Artist
by Bill Swayze, The Star Ledger

For world beat artist Mary Sarah, the journey's destination is a sanctuary far away from anxiety and alienation. Funereal clouds of indifference and insensitivity part as a musical mosaic of cultural influences, ambience and voice _ both angelic and haunting _ create what singer Mary Sarah calls "space for peace."

"You are pulled inside to a more centered place and contact your own sense of safety, compassion and empathy," the 36-year-old Morristown, N.J. composer says.

That was the goal of her fifth creation, O, a five-track release with Mary Sarah on piano and Danys Leavasseur on sitar, guitoud, darbouka and guitar, as well as the promise of her newest work, Oh We, which brings back Levasseur and introduces percussionist Eric Seftel.

The sounds and rhythms are culled from Gothic, Indian, African, Celtic, Native American and Eastern European influences while leader Mary Sarah cites Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Kate Bush, This Mortal Coil, and Dead Can Dance as musical kinsfolk.

There also is an element of melismatic singing _ language invented within the music with words meaning more than she can sing in English.

Mary Sarah, who began singing at the age of 11, embarked on her solo career in 1992, when she parlayed away from theater and dance to devote all of her artistic energy to music.

Two years later, she released Blade of Love on her own Blade Productions label. Her gothic, operatic sound continued on the follow-up, Night Vision, an eight-track, 1996 release on the same label.

Her musical style metamorphosed that same year, however, when she worked with Producer George Small, a keyboardist whose resume includes work with John Lennon. The result was Tenderness. Ambient textures and a strong emphasis on lyrical content replaced Gothic elements.

Mary Sarah sees that early work as prerequisites of her current sound found on the 1997 release Sea Fire Burn, the 1998 release O, and her upcoming release, Oh We. Under the production of Levasseur, who she befriended while performing in Montreal, and in collaboration with Eric Seftel, an inspired ambient percussionist, she continues to delve deeply into landscapes of sound and voice.

Lyrically, Mary Sarah imbues her songs with themes that bring the listener towards a high level of social and natural consciousness. She provides us with a unique musical style that weaves and touches as it goes. Recognized internationally for her ability to bring political themes to light, Mary Sarah was asked to perform live at The United Nations Diplomatic Conference for Conflict Resolution in 1997 and for The Royalty of Sweden during their American tour.

Live, the music has mesmerized audiences in New York, at the Dark Star Lounge, Spy Bar, Gallery 313, Arlene Grocery and the Triad Theater, to name a few. Canadian excursions include Montreal's Le Lion d'Or, La Butte St. Jacques, and Le Sergeant Recruteur. Regular New Jersey venues include, Myhelan Cultural Arts Center, Van Gogh's Ear, The Lemon Lounge, The Uncommon Grounds/Eclectic Tea Room, Zabbazu, and The Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey.

For more information, contact Mary Sarah at (973)-984-7886 or e-mail: Imagobird@aol.com
Log onto www.MarySarah.com for a complete list of upcoming performances/events.