REFLECTING UPON A YEAR
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my website! A lot has happened since July, and I’ve been neglectful of this little node in the WWW. So here’s a list of what has taken place artistically/creatively in the past year!
1) SHAMANIC DRUMMING - I received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to research and study shamanic drumming for six months. I investigated questions such as how the drum reflects the environment it was made in and, how it, when played, creates altered states of mind, how the drum represents the journey, and can be used as a tool to indicate the passage of time and the movement through space, how the drum changes over time, physically becoming how it was played, by who, and where, and the relationship between the drum, dreaming, storytelling and shamanism. While the six months of study is now complete, this project and my relationship with the drum is going to be a lifelong journey. In the short-term, I hope to create something in the new year, incorporating what I’ve learned so far. More to come on that soon.
2) BROKEN DEER - This has been a memorable and productive year for my lo-fi field recording/audio art/experimental folk project. I self-released two records: Polaraura on cassette wrapped in birch bark and Unseen World as a zine of water(colour)world dreams. I also played some notable festivals/shows: OBEY Convention VI in June, got to open for old friends Tasseomancy in August, and shared the stage with friend and collaborator Evan Cardwell (Double Vision Quest) at Saint Matthew’s Church for my performance in the Halifax Pop Explosion. For all three shows, artist and friend James Gauvreau projected footage of whales from a video he is working on for a song from Unseen World (to be released in 2014). Speaking of videos, two were released this year: Heather Rappard's sublime video for “My Heart is in the Highlands" and Cheryl Hann’s out-there video for "Saddest Song in Outer Space.”
3) COLLABORATIONS - Last year I began collaborating with Double Vision Quest (Evan Cardwell) and JFM as Journeys, and this past Winter the three of us really delved deep, exploring the frontiers of our sonic universes. We also improvised music for a group of improvising dancers at Halifax’s DANspace in March, and then improvised for a group of plants at Halifax’s Common Roots Urban Farm in June for OBEY Convention IV. In the new year, Journeys will continue to delve deep. Plans are also in the works for me to collaborate with some other musicians, dancers and visual artists. More on that soon.
4) VISION AND NEW DIRECTIONS - I feel I’ve developed a more genuine, strong, clear artistic vision in 2013, and I’m excited to see how it continues to manifest. I have been so inspired being by the ocean after moving back to the East Coast from the Yukon. I swam so much this Summer, that I actually got swimmer’s ear for the first time, but I composed a deep listening song that healed it. This composition actually gave birth to a new music project, called Unseen World for now. I’ll be producing music for healing, meditation and deep listening under this moniker.
5) PEOPLE - I’ve been lucky to witness a number of my friends and people in my community find success in their creative worlds this year. By success I not only mean that they’ve created new works and/or received positive attention; Success, to me, also includes the changes, the difficult times that have inspired new directions, clarity and discovery of voice. I have a number of friends, including myself, that have gone through or continue to go through difficult excavation processes over the last couple of years. And while it’s a very tough, life-altering thing, it also gives birth to magic for those willing to let go of the life they knew and delve deep. As someone who went through a life/health crisis/breakdown/spiritual awakening in 2012, the residue of which has continued into this year, I can thank the difficult times and what has died for giving birth to the New. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this past year — friends, family, collaborators, mentors, healers, teachers, listeners, readers, writers… And thank you to those who’ve given me the privilege of supporting them. We’re all in this together.
May 2014 be a time of continued growth, support and inspiration.