I’m an award-winning, critically-acclaimed musician and author, as well as a yoga instructor, arts professor and mentor of creativity for decades. My years of experience as an artist and teacher brings me here, knowing that our creative nature is the portal to self-love, personal fulfilment and feeling the joy of being alive.
My current writing project is The Importance of Being Important: Love, Compassion, and Wisdom from My Creative Soul to My Lost Self, where I share my journey to accept the radical notion that our primary responsibility is to be the most important person in our life.
To accompany the I've recorded an acoustic CD with twelve songs to amplify the themes in the chapters. Nine of the songs have been previously recorded with a band and released internationally, two of the songs have been recorded before but not officially released, and one song is brand new. I've revisited the arrangements of all the songs, some have renewed lyrics, and all are newly conceived to bring them to the present moment.
As a singer-songwriter, I’ve recorded and released four studio albums, Betty’s Room, No Language, Snow, Mountain, River and John Lennon’s Bed. As a touring musician, I’ve gone across Canada, the US and Europe with my guitar strapped to my back, driving from city-to-city to share my music and story. My label for Betty's Room was in Europe, where I toured and attracted the attention of radio and media and built a fan base. My second CD, No Language, had broader distribution across Europe as well as North America and received universal critical acclaim.
“Once in a great while, out of the blue, comes an indie masterpiece. Such is the case of Linda McLean. No Language is the Canadian’s second album and it contains the accessible folk- pop blend that garnered her a wide audience on her Betty's Room debut. This is a record full of impeccable songwriting, inventive musical arrangements, and great, sensitive vocal work. One not to be missed." – Alan Cackett, editor, Maverick Magazine
Writing has become a passion and I'm in the middle of finding out what it's like to publish books. In 2016 I won the Creative Non-Fiction Prize in the Atlantic Writer's Competition for my short story "Dreaming of Margaret Atwood" and in the same year I completed a mentorship in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program through the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia. To date I've written five novels and one creative non-fiction manuscript, with more ideas on the horizon.
"Linda McLean's writing has a light and artful touch, beautiful painterly metaphors, comforting wavelike rhythms, rich with subtleties, emotional resonance, and thematic depth. It's a philosophical exploration with a hint of mystery and satisfyingly practical.” – Angela Monbourquette, editor, journalist, author of 25 Years of 22 Minutes: An Unauthorized Oral History
Teaching and Mentoring goes hand in hand with my artistic pursuits. I was a professional actor taught improvisation and scene study. I utilized the Alexander technique for voice and acting and integrated in teaching theatre. I went back to school and got a Masters in Education from the University of Toronto and was accepted into the doctoral program to continue my research into creativity, but opted out of academia to pursue songwriting, recording and touring. As a songwriter I was invited to be founding faculty of a new music production program at Seneca College / York University in Toronto, and designed and taught the curriculum for five courses to emerging independent artists. I'd benefited from a yoga practice while touring and became a yoga teacher.
“Linda is one of those old souls with fresh curiosity. She is attentive, conscientious, playful, authentic and serious about her purpose in helping others. She has been there herself with creative challenges and so can offer compassionate patient guidance and tools & practices that really work. She is the real deal.” — Lisa Lipsett, EdD, visual artist and owner of Creative by Nature
I've worked in both the creative and business sides of cultural industries, as an artist, and also a label owner, promoter and music festival owner. I built and established Mandolin Records, created, promoted and hosted the songwriting series, Muskoka Song Night, co-created and hosted the first few Women’s Music Weekend at my home, a retreat with workshops in songwriting and performance where we've successfully fulfilled our mission to build personal empowerment and community through music and song for almost ten years now , and co-founded Muskoka Sound Music Festival, a live music event with seventy-four live performances over three days and nights.
I've settled in rural Nova Scotia with my husband and two cats, where I write, teach yoga and offer workshops and live performances. In my spare time I'm learning about permaculture and dream of growing food forests, building gardens from the ground up, and letting nature be my teacher.
If there's one takeaway I’d like to leave you with it’s this excerpt from my book, The Importance of Being Important: "There is only one person who can claim the extraordinary gift of your life, you, and to know,"I am this important, and every breath, every thought, every feeling begins and ends with me—not a philosophy, but a fact; everything begins here."
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, let's keep in touch.
With love, Linda.