Emerging Music workshop

I facilitated a workshop at Prana festival NY 2013/14 in Opoutere on the Coromandel Peninsula entitled Emerging Music.

Here is the process we used :

In a circle, close enough to hear each other without straining (we were sitting on the earth) someone decides on a theme for the piece.

For example we had the offering of ‘the story of our country, Aotearoa ( New Zealand ) specifically the colonisation and loss of Te Reo ( Maori language ).

Line up objects to signify the key points in the story,

We chose 7 rocks to symbolise the following :

The Maori journey by sea from Hawaiiki
The arrival and the beauty of Aotearoa
Colonisation by the British
The conflict
The banning of Te Reo Maori ( Maori language )
Reclamation of Te Reo
The now

Then together , using only our voices and hands, create a soundscape in which we move together through each point in the story. ( Powerful listening skills are required here!)

The group has to keep very aware of where everyone else is in the story, to try and keep together in the unfolding.

Here is a link to an example, the story outlined above, for you to enjoy.


Facilitator notes :

Have a story ready as an example but be ready to hand it over the second someone gets the idea and starts to run with it.

Encourage stories with obvious sections, i.e horses running over wooden bridges, a plague of cats, a snoring giant… these will give very obvious landmarks for keeping the group together. If someone gets lost they can find their way back in easily.

Encourage the group to move through the parts of the story using aural non visual cues,  resist the urge to point at each rock in turn to try and ‘ keep people together’, it’s OK if it falls apart as it will let everyone know they have to listen more powerfully in the next story.


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