CNMN > Projects > Sound Stories from the Land

Moe Clark

  • Found objects or art supplies
  • Voice
  • Acoustic instruments
  • Early childhood
  • 5 to 12 years of age
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Intergenerational

A single 2 hour workshop session or series of multiple 2h drop-in sessions.

  • Education
  • Community associations
  • Social services
  • Health
  • Diversity
  • Ecology
  • Family
  • Feminism
  • Memory

Sound Stories from the Land


Sound Sto­ries from the Land

okâwîmâw askiy is Moth­er Earth (nêhiyawêwin/Plains Cree lan­guage), always pro­vid­ing for us in ways beyond our wildest imag­i­na­tions. This work­shop pro­vides an open­ing for us to strength­en our con­nec­tion to earth while acti­vat­ing our voic­es and bod­ies through sound and movement.

As we move through prompts based on teach­ings from the med­i­cine wheel, we deep­en our pres­ence with our four bod­ies (men­tal, phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al, spir­i­tu­al) and the four ele­ments (earth, fire, wind, water) and we acti­vate our sens­es. We work in a cir­cle, whether actu­al or per­ceived, in an on-going acknowl­edge­ment of our rela­tion­ship to the many earth and sky rel­a­tives that are beyond our two-legged (human) realm.

Look­ing at concepts:

med­i­cine wheel: in an nêhiyaw/Plains Cree per­spec­tive we all have four bod­ies; phys­i­cal, men­tal, emo­tion­al, spir­i­tu­al. When we con­sid­er all four bod­ies in the way we vocal­ize and respond to the world with­in and around us, we can find bal­ance through sound. We also acknowl­edge the four ele­ments and the four direc­tions as inte­gral aspects of this balancing.

miskâ­sowin: find­ing one’s sense of belong­ing, locat­ing one­self with­in the cir­cle (of life). We con­tin­u­al­ly work in rela­tion­ship to one anoth­er where all voic­es matter.

wâhkôh­towin: kin­ships beyond our imme­di­ate fam­i­ly; an acknowl­edg­ment of all of earth’s cre­ation as mem­bers of our extend­ed fam­i­ly, as relatives.

nikamotan: let us sing togeth­er as cre­ative med­i­cine to help us grow and strength­en our capac­i­ties for lis­ten­ing, mir­ror­ing and liv­ing a good life together.

nanâsko­mowin: grat­i­tude. We give thanks through music and singing. In a sim­ple way, we say “hay hay” as a way of acknowl­edg­ing all the rela­tion­ships that uplift, inspire and help us grow.

What place or land­scape is home for you? How do you acknowl­edge your body as home?

1. Com­ing home through breath:

Fol­low­ing a sim­ple count in a cir­cu­lar pat­tern, we explore the cycles of birth, growth, death and release. We inhale and take in the air around us, this air ignites the fire inside, warm­ing us and fill­ing our bod­ies with ener­gy. We hold this air inside in awe, feel­ing into where space is being made with new breath. We release this air and we calm the waters in our bel­lies. We feel the empti­ness of release. We repeat. Each time we cycle through breath, we engage with dif­fer­ent images, think­ing about the ele­ments, the cycles of life, of sun­rise and sun­set. We use our body as a map to con­nect with land­scapes and remem­ber that our body is our ter­ri­to­ry. Once you are fin­ished cycling through this breath­ing exer­cise a few times, take a minute to sit qui­et­ly and notice if there are sub­tle changes in your inner world. Then ask, what has shift­ed in your per­cep­tion of your rela­tion­ship to the world around you?


2. CALL + RESPONSE. Lis­ten, Rec­i­p­ro­cate, Respond:

What sounds, sights, smells, feel­ings, tastes inspire you to sing and to call into exis­tence the sounds alive inside and around you? We explore how our voic­es blend, echo and mir­ror the world around us and invite new sounds and lan­guages for con­nec­tion. You can work with images, sounds from nature and oth­er found objects or mem­o­ries to cre­ate the acti­va­tion for call and response.

3. GRATITUDE song:

Through song we give thanks to all the beings, peo­ple, places and gifts that sup­port our exis­tence. Look­ing around and with­in you, we sing out, name and cel­e­brate these gifts together.


Read More +


Image Gallery