Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SHAMAN : ARTIST Performance and workshop

Back in Ireland... on Friday 22 May, in Ballydehob, County Cork, Ireland, I will be sharing the new work I have been doing (with support from the Arts Council of Ireland), bringing together improvised sound and movement in a meditative, ritual space. The intention is to move together into a different state of awareness where we-- both myself and the auidence-- will be open to spirit and to our own intuitive mind.

The space where I work is an integral part of the process: it is An Sanctoir, a beautiful wooden-floored octagonal building whose atmosphere and acoustics give an incredible support to both sound and spirit. You can check it out on

Last year I began this project in cooperation with, and inspired by, dancer Tara Brandel, playing with and crossing the boundaries between music and dance. We were fortunate to receive a bursary award from the Arts Council to continue and deepen these explorations, already begun over ten years ago. Other boundaries have come into play, and into question, as well: between artist and shaman, between performance and ritual, between creation and meditation, between art and healing. Tara is not able to join me this spring, but her spirit is here and I am grateful for the opportunity to get clearer about what I am doing, on my own.

I have been working with improvisation in a very pure and unstructured form: allowing sound and movement to arise from the moment, where as soon as they begin they take on a life of their own. The structures create themselves, with influences of course from shamanism and from the musical traditions I've worked within.

I've always felt that music is the bearer of spirit and healing, and that any concert is a form of ritual, transporting its audience into an altered state, providing spiritual food of one kind or another, depending on its genre. The great sacred musical works of the past-- Bach's Passions, Mozart's Requiem, medieval and renaissance liturgical music-- continue to form an important part of our culture's spiritual life. So in creating my own new work, it has not been such a huge leap to look for an expression of my own spiritual life in the context of performance.

My performance will invite the audience to participate in a deep meditative space (small children might not be up for this!) On Saturday and Sunday there will be a workshop, in An Sanctoir's beautiful, resonant octagonal space, which will be an opportunity for anyone who wants to go further into this process, and will be a joint creation of all who take part.


Performance: donation € 10 - € 20, all proceeds to An Sanctoir (
Workshop: sliding scale of € 60 - € 120.

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