Why did I make this course? A story from Scotland




I want to help people to connect with each other and with nature around us and within us. We are part of the landscape and even though cities are not 'natural', we made them, fed by food grown from the earth.

Making music and listening to nature is one way to connect.

Today there are many who say "I am not musical"...and yet they love listening to music, song, or the sounds of birds chatting and wind playing in trees.

Thus course is to help creativity, imagination, oracy, laughter and connection unfold, reveal, develop, emerge and exclaim in a musical way, inspired by what have most in common, our breath and the world around us.

I am offering this course online to make it accessible the world over, without having to travel and use up precious fossil fuels to do so.

I have seen how music affects people and place, and can bring joy and connection in ways other activities cannot. This course brings a way of creating and celebrating a special vibration for community and planet, and as a way of sharing our own unique gifts of voice and heartbeat.

The story of how I came to create the course has roots in both the natural and the musical worlds. Here is some of the story:



One cold summers day I remember standing in a stone circle in Scotland, with two bits of wire in my hand. I had cut the wire from an old fence to use them as dowsing rods. I was amazed at what had just happened. The Ley of the land had changed and it was music that seemed to have brought about the change. There were now 13 radial Ley lines where that been 5!

Please allow me to explain. You may know this already...Ley Lines seem to be energetic alignments between places, landscape features and man made objects. There are networks of Ley lines across the globe.  They are not usually perceived by the naked eye, but can be felt and 'dowsed' with metal or wooden rods. The rods are held loosely in the hand and, in conjunction with the attention of the mind and body of the person holding the rods, the rod may move when that person comes upon or crosses a Ley line. People can also dowse for water... or sometimes lost keys (but that is a story for another time!)

While walking towards the stone circle, up a long stony track, bordered with old windblown beech and thorn trees, I was talking with my friend and musician Mat Clements about Ley Lines and stone rows. I was full of excitement having just finished a book called Songlines, which was about the Aboriginal Australian relationship with the land. I had picked up that some aboriginal people saw it is part of a humans responsibility to help sing the world into existence as they walked Songlines across the land.

I noticed an old fence line, no longer functioning, and had cut two short pieces of the thick wire with my trusty pocket tool, and bent them both into 'L' shapes. I wondered if I could 'pick up' any Ley or song lines as we walked.

Occasionally the wire rods would move in my hands. There was something there!



With growing anticipation I set out to map the stone circle for whatever it was I was perceiving when we arrived. I found there to be five lines of energy radiating out from the centre, at various angles. They didn't seem to be pointing or lining up with any landscape feature we could see in particular, though one was heading off, but not directly, to the top of a nearby hill.

Mat and I played some music.  He played berimbau -  a Brazilian stick, gourd, string and stone instrument. I played a didgeridoo. We improvised. In our music we listened for rhythms arising within and between us, as we moved and faced different directions of the compass, all the time with an attitude of gratitude for the land and the people that had made the circle long ago.

When we finished I wondered if there had been any changes to whatever it was I was perceiving with the dowsing rods.

I set out to map the circle again.

Now there were 13 lines of energy radiating from the centre of the circle, and 2 concentric rings within the circle, and one just beyond the stone! Amazing!

What had happened?

To this day I don't actually know. We guessed that perhaps the music had charged up the place, or affected me to become more sensitive with the rods. Maybe the circle had woken up!?

I changed that day. My perception of separateness from the land diminished. Music now had an unseen power. Song and gratitude really does have an affect on the land. 

A woodland with the laughter and chatter of children as well as the song of birds is a more vibrant place than a field of wheat... though that too has its own song.

All the land is vibration and patterns.

Our voices are patterns of vibrations. 

We do affect the world with our voices and song.

And that brings me to the next part of the story, the more musical side, of why I wanted to foster connection in this way.

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