Morag Northey is a cellist, singer, songwriter, composer, teacher, pianist and poet, based in Calgary, Alberta
“From River Jordan to the Prairies – thank you for the journey, Morag.”
“Morag’s quintessential talents and graceful presence are tonic for the soul. Her angelic sound enriches one’s spirit, filling it with tranquility, gratitude and a sense of surrender.” – Tracey
“It has been a while since I was so completely lost in sound, Watching and listening to the complementarity of Morag’s voice and strings, there was nothing else but just pure beautiful sound. For an hour everything else simply just left. There was only wondrous sound.” – Erik Howell
Over the past three years, Morag Northey has shared her voice and cello with thousands of people from Calgary to Vancouver and the heart of the Cariboo. What began as a personal calling, has propelled Morag, with cello on her back, to walk the Camino de Santiago trail ~ a historically symbolic spiritual pilgrimage, where she will spread her encouraging, loving message: “Walk On!” one step and then the next, when faced with life’s inevitable difficulties. She encourages us to reach out, come together, and move forwards right beyond what yesterday seemed impossible ~ through our living example, we inspire others to do the same!
Throughout this past year Morag, and The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society, has hosted a series of Full-Moon walks in Calgary’s Fish Creek Park. Come rain, shine, or most recently a Summer snow storm, she has lead groups of brave followers on Walks, all the while sharing each month’s Full Moon themes, positively motivating ideas, her Cello, Voice and Song.
My friend recently decided to observe the fasting of Ramadan and wondered if I might help with the odd meal at the end of each day. Instead I offered to join him, knowing community support and inspiration is important when embarking on a disciplined, enlightened journey. A wonderful time of transformation ensued, as we were gifted with knowing each other from a more current and authentic place. I became clearer and better connected to myself, those around me, and the suffering in this world… experiencing Ramadan (fasting of both food and water Sunrise to Sunset) informed me – and through this practice I observed myself becoming a more honest artist.
This came on the heels of a St. Mary’s Cathedral Together Calgary series I had recently put on, of ten vocal/cello meditative improvisation sessions, each expressed from a ‘place of emptiness’ through listening to those who shared the time and space. My writing and instrumental technique flourished. The things that challenge us, define us and so define our art.
How remarkable that Kolbe Times asked me to write a piece on the transformative power of music and creation, and do so through my connection to Jane Siberry.
During my tumultous teens, artist Jane Siberry represented strength, freedom of creativity, and uniqueness. When I was told to quit singing /songwriting (not the producer’s idea of what would sell), and when later dealing with divorce, raising children, and how all these factors challenge an artist’s ispiration, output, and belief – Jane Siberry was a lifeline.
In earlier years her individuality encouraged me to keep believing – She is prolific, dedicated and fearless. Jane Siberry follows the path of her beliefs, and sheds skin after skin to stay current with who she inwardly sees and is.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, singer/songwriter Jane Stewart changed her name to Jane Siberry as a life-guiding talisman to honour the full, true richness of love she felt and had observed, between her maternal aunt and uncle. In 2002 she released the album Love is Everything – true to form (one of fourteen albums, four live albums, five compilations, eleven movie soundtracks, poetry and video).
Jane has endured creative highs and lows, alcohol addiction, difficult relationship periods and the embracing of her sexuality and its sacredness. She has fought requests by record labels to be more marketable and rather created her own Sheeba label, self-published, sold all belongings (except one guitar), travelled to Europe, and changed her name a second time to “Issa” (an empty cup).
As Issa, she allowed herself to let go of expectations and just listen. Purely motivated by inspiration, the result was thirty-three songs written in thirty-three days, culminating in a trilogy of albums called “Three Queens.” Further metamorphosis saw Issa changing her name back to Jane Siberry in December 2009, as the change to Issa had gotten in her way.
Jane Siberry plays small venues, advertising through her fan mailing list. She wants all people to be able to have her music, and created a flexible payment policy – pay what you can!
As I work to publish my own poetry, get two distinctly different albums off the ground, and take to the Camino de Santiago trail with cello on back, I will keep Jane Siberry as a talisman – walking the walk of personal and creative integity so art rings clear and true, inspiring all to be the best of themselves, giving thanks to the thick and thin.
– by Morag Northey
as printed in the Kolbe Times, Fall 2012
Walk the vibrant journey of Life with a little Cello and Voice to spur you on!
Walk On ~ Move On
~ Breathe ~
~ Simple ~
Be accompanied by Morag Northey’s Cello & Voice
~ By Donation ~
All donations will help me purchase a Lewis and Clark Graphite Cello, a Coda Graphite Bow, and a lightweight cello case, capable of withstanding varied weather conditions of on foot daily travel. This instrument will enable me to walk the El Norte, Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain, scheduled for October 2014!
Thank you very much for your donations, every penny makes a difference.
I wish all Walk On Concerts/Events to be by donation only as they are for Everyone, Anywhere, Anytime!
Hope ~ Just taking one foot, and then the next!
Full Moon Walks take place at Calgary’s Fish Creek Park 10:00 p.m.
Park at the Ranch Restaurant Parking area, Fish Creek Park, Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary. Please see map: http://goo.gl/maps/nLPji
February 14 – Snow Moon
March 16 – Worm Moon
April 15 – Pink Moon (Eclipse)
May 14 – Flower Moon
June 12 – Strawberry Moon
July 12 Buck Moon
August 10 – Sturgeon Moon, Super Full Moon!
September 8 – Harvest Moon
October 8 – Hunter’s Moon
November 6 – Beaver Moon
December 6 – Cold Moon
Please pre-register through Eventbrite &/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things to Consider:
- Dress according to the weather and for your comfort.
- The trails can be slippery in the cold so I recommend shoe grips which help minimize slippery conditions. You can find these at MEC and Canadian Tire.
- Water bottle
- Small foldable chair in case you choose to rest.
- Hiking Poles.
- All walks are manageable, and all levels are welcome. In case of very cold weather we can still walk a brisk, picturesque 10 minutes out, have a quick play, howl, and back to share a warm drink together and say, We did it!
Evenings close at 11:30 pm. as we must be out of the park before midnight.
Bouquets of thanks to: The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society, for participating and sharing in these evenings. Thanks also to The Ranche Restaurant, for graciously providing hot chocolate or apple cider following each Full Moon excursion. Let us plan for you!
There’s a Place
“There are places of non-division
where Peace floats on wind and song,
There are places where there is only Love
No battles, divorce, no angry voices,
Where there is Prayer and there is Silence ~
Where Long Slow Moments rest in stillness ~
Let’s spread our wings and we fly!
We’re Movin There!”
New New Day Day!
Oh it’s a New Day
and I’m seeing the world, on the backside of a Fog
Sun is shining, and it’s clearing away
the heavy ol’ clouds of yesterday
Come on and dance now, let’s shimmer and shake
big smiles across our face
come on and dance now ~ Let’s laugh and play
Celebrate the gift of this New New Day!
Oh it’s a New New Day Day,
New New Day Day,
New New Day Day, New!
When life gets you down
when you feel you can’t go on
be gentle ~
right foot then left
right after left
Mother Earth will engage you
the wind breathes with your breath
the river reminds you
these times too shall pass
Sky sings of vastness and mouse sings of small
mountains ground you as trees protect all
stars shine their brilliance ~ your spirit resurrects
one step after step after step after step
miraculous nature egoless and pure
be simple, exist ~ you can endure
walk on, breathe, move on
right foot then left
right and then left
walk to return back home to yourself
For strength, love, hope, and fresh will
come together, in unison ~ in natural communion
walk on, walk on