An Accidental Songwriter and Moors, Music and Meditation. ” Trust in Allah but tether your camel” . An update on my songwriting journey.

Above is a quote from a Sufi story that reminds us that we have to practically do what we can in our lives, whilst having faith that we will be sustained and supported by powers greater than ourselves. This little quote has very much been in my mind in relation to the efforts and strands within my own life.

It has been awhile since I gave a practical update on my songwriting journey. This journey, by necessity, is interwoven with the needs of earning a living and life, which has not been a straight forward journey for me. I am delighted to say that some of these more practical strands have the beginnings of clarity and direction. I have just qualified, with ” flying colours” in my professional certification in mentoring- so I can know look for freelance work in this area. I have also been accepted onto a four year part time HND course to become a counsellor. It is a long haul but ultimately it will give me a sensible and Abi suited way to earn money. My disabilities of dyscalculia and dyspraxia do not impinge on either of these work possibilities. If anything they just give me a greater sense of empathy and flexibility of appraoch that will be of benefit to my clients. I, hopefully, will then be able to earn a sensible amount of money at the grand old age of 57- which is what I will be in four years! I start as others wind down towards retirement!! I can weave these strands around my music teaching and songwriting too. I am doing what I can to ‘ tether my camel”- even if it is slow work and takes time.

The” trust in Allah” part of this quote refers to my songwriting journey. The music industry is not set up for middle aged mums ,who write genre bending songs and live extremely rurally. One must collaborate and progress along a trajectory that is bound by quite conservative hallmarks of success, that must be met in order to make headway. Unable to access these normal activities, let alone do them means my approach to being a singer song writer is as liminal, reality defying and bending of the ordinary as the songs I write.

The most recent two songs I have been working on to bring into the public gaze in many ways explore the liminal and the genre blending elements in a very conscious way. Without being puffed up or boastful they will be two totally unique songs. Both songs are inspired from my Swedish trip last year, where I learnt to do Kulning. They are both written in the Valmodus scale which Swedish folk song and Kulning are based in. The first one ” Earth Calling song- O my people” is a song based on a Hopi prophecy about humanity. Mother Earth is calling us to account and urging us to work together wisely before we will be plunged into burning fire, created as a result from our own stupid ways.This song is all fire, elements and shamanic in feel. I use folk instruments from around the world and hopefully also some natural sounds and sound design.

The second song’s title is “Soul Calling – A petal in the wind”. This song is spacious, liminal and metaphysically other worldly , it call’s our souls to repose and hence to wisdom through the appreciation of what heals and serves us and what is to therefore be treasured: nature, love and something intangible and spiritual, beyond the ordinary. It will combine the most recent sound world – sound design with the most ancient- a Swedish cow horn. Neither songs are quite complete yet and I hope to get funding from Help Musicians for record and release. There are various practical and creative problem solving things that need to be overcome before they can be set free in the world. They are forming slowly due to the amount of camel tethering I am doing! But, the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, slowly overtook the hare…

These songs have led me on an exploration into shamanic sound and ideas which has been very fascinating. This will hopefully give them an authenticity of philosophy and sound which will be felt by the listener. it has also been fascinating for me as a meditator and as someone who is something of a psychonaut! I have a feeling that this exploration will only grow my song writing in interesting ways as I explore things from this liminal perspective.

Shamanism is rooted in nature and the marrying of the Other world with this one……. a great space to be creative from.

It will be quite a few months before I can share these songs with you ,because of various practical hoops I need to step through…but I am excited to be working in such a fresh yet old way! The songs have called themselves into being from that other liminal space…..

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