Selkie tale

I think I came at this project from a strange angle, my story was the last part to fall into place rather than starting with the story and going from there.

Since I have the funny accent I figured I should do something that incorporates that and that got me thinking about Celtic music and the sound of the ocean. So I took that idea and ran with it and that got me to Scottish folklore and the selkie mythology. There are many different tellings of the selkie stories with a lot of common threads so since I was trying to do something around the two minute mark I wrote my own variation on the theme that ties in a lot of the elements but  for the sake of brevity leaves out a lot of the exposition. Hopefully there are enough mythological tropes that it makes some sense.

The hardest part of this project was getting the reading of the story to sound decent, I think i did about 15 takes to get to this point and there are still some issues I think. I had a real problem with getting the speed right, I don’t exactly talk slowly so tried not to rush it which meant that my first few tries sounded vaguely like I was having a stroke then of course I went too far in the other direction! Interestingly my husband (American) told me I was laying the accent on thick, which I wasn’t aware of, but then my dad (Scottish) said I sounded like I was doing posh voice so I guess its all about perspective! I am pretty chuffed with how my music and effects worked out, just a shame about the reading.

To give those of you not familiar with the selkie myth a bit of background: common to Scotland and Ireland especially around the northern islands the mythology centers on creatures that can change form between seal and human. To change to human they remove their seal skin and then put it back on to become a seal. Many of the stories follow the theme that fishermen would steal selkie skins which they were in their human form (most commonly selkies are female) and then essentially hold the human form hostage. If you want a much better telling than mine check out Song of the Sea a sweet little animated movie based on Selkie stories.

By: Fiona Harlan

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