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A week ago I was sitting in front of an open email waiting for a client of mine to show up. Five minutes before she came I made a quick decision to hit the “send” button. I had just Finnished my very first book, Luonnon aika, which translates to Nature Time in English, and finally dared to send it out to my publisher.
At this point the book will only be available in Finnish, however, the project left my writing space in the attic with several piles of books and papers and I thought to share a couple of them with you incase you might be interested in joining my learning process in nature and music. The whole list of references will stretch into six or seven pages of various literature, studies, books, researches etc., but here are two samples of the works that inspired me the most and that have also been important stops on the way to Luontolaulu.
The most incredible one first:
Sing the Cows Home – a folklore field study of the Swedish fäbod (a mountain summer dairy farm). I found this incredible book online, it was written by a Swedish writer Kerstin Brorson a while back. The book has long gone been out of print but I managed to receive my copy in a post package from Missouri with the writer’s signature on the first page. Yay! 🙂
What I love about this book is it gives a very close look to the life of the cattle herders in ancient Scandinavia and studies the effects isolation, heavy work and responsibility had on them. The herders were a very special group of women of all ages from seven or eight to eighty years and up, who had their own ways and traditions in handcrafts, herding, medicine and – most importantly – music and singing in the nature. The herding calls and songs are a tradition that can bring us a lot also today. The herders were unusually independent ladies at their time. The strong women spent summers up in the mountains away from the villages and had to manage on their own even in most difficult conditions.
The herding calls have inspired me in developing the soul calls of Luontolaulu. Strong, lingering calls that help the caller to find the inner strength without losing the power to the woods are part of nature singing that can be of a support in every day life for anyone interested. More about soul calls in the future!
This next book was introduced to me by my student and what an inspiration it has been – thank you Anna la! 🙂
Today’s singing world seems to be surrounded with technical details and it was utterly refreshing to find a writer who took a more mindful approach in singing. Jeremy Dion’s exercises have been a source of inspiration for many Luontolaulu hummings as well. The Art of Mindful Singing can easily be found online.
The third source of inspiration has been this thesis by the Swedish researcher Anna Adevi:
This was one of the first works I went through during my eco therapy studies and it nearly forced me into combining nature with performance training. I had suffered for years of lung problems in molded class rooms and knew how those situations affect not only on health but also on the atmosphere at the workplaces.
One of the schools I worked at had a habit of keeping the curtains down all day long to protect the instruments from sun and occasional thieves (that same school also banned indoor plants for allergy reasons) and most of the time the students practiced behind closed curtains under the fluorescent lights, even during the bright Northern summers. Another school held all their performance classes under ground.
I had always wondered why I had an inner urge for large, light spaces and greeneries. This thesis explained why. You can read and download the thesis here. More about space, sound and restoring environments in the future!