When I think of singing, the purpose of singing, the motivation of singing ~ Singing our Bones Alive truly is the sole reason. Restoration, renewal, and, naturally, expression of self and soul.
Resonating our own corporal cavities has marvelous effects on our brain, nervous system, and the bones themselves. “Singing ourselves” helps us with self-concept, position in space, and expression of our own truths. Singing in community allows us to find even greater expression through the diversity of voices joining together.
A few weeks ago, I led a Singing Journey Retreat in the high mountain deserts of New Mexico at Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted. Eighteen singers from coast to coast of the United States gathered for a long weekend to Sing Our Bones Alive.
Ruth Cunningham, of iconic medieval vocal group Anonymous 4, presented her expertise as my guest artist. Ruth and I met about 10 years ago through the improvisation circles of legendary vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon. Both of us maintain sacred practices of chant, vocalizing, and accessing Source through our voices. Musically we join forces with our backgrounds in medieval chant and jazz, finding musical language unique to the moment.
From the moment I arrived at Ghost Ranch, I was once again struck by the power of this land. As the Irish say, experiencing “teannalach” — listening to the land. Facing the vast desert, mesas, and her eponymous earth below, we sounded with the landscape, ourselves, and each other.
When we meet from the heart, sing from the heart, style has very little to do with it. Heart to heart, person to person, we sing to voice ourselves, exalt or wail the moment, and to dialogue. We met in that space where there are no words to hang us up. Just sounds. Sounds vibrating our bones. Sounds of ourselves in flight.
Singing Our Bones Alive
*look for this and other Singing Journey Retreats on my website.