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! Check out her blog posts as she walks the trail!
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.
Recent Blog Posts
Dear Friends, Family, and Awesome Businesses that Care!
Having been challenged to move through and beyond a number of life-changing obstacles, seeing my half-century birthday celebration looming up ahead, and feeling thankful for support I had experienced… I decided to offer something ‘uniquely Morag’ to Calgary, something that might prove encouraging and meaningful, perhaps even bolstering will and determination to transform dark times to light:
For three years I played free, non-denominational concerts, Lent through Easter, called Together Calgary, Together World ~ an hour of meditative cello and vocal journeying where I surrounded my audience with beautiful healing acoustics in Calgary’s Grand St. Mary’s Cathedral. Thank you Bishop Henry, Father Dennis, Father Greg, Lily and St. Mary’s sweetly accommodating cleaning staff, for welcoming me to your Sacred Home. Thank You Russell Bowers, CBC Daybreak Alberta, for your interviewing brilliance and care to let folks know about the event <3
For one year I created musically-accompanied Full Moon Walks (inspiring through combinations of nature, ideas, cello, song, poetry, trumpet, choir, and drums) taking people through Fish Creek Park, beginning with Alara Payten’s community drum, ending with hot chocolate, apple cider, lanterns, and a good dose of howling.
Thank you for the support and friendship Mitzie and Larry Wasyliw, The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society, Great Events Catering, Jeff Fafard, Jay Michalak, Andrea Ciona, the Bishop Caroll singers, Linda Craig, Judy Forrester, Nadene Rogers, and all of YOU who attended ~ we faced and made the best of all elements!
I wished my first 50 years of living “Well, Thanks, and Good-bye…” as I walked The Camiño Francés Way of St. James ~ an ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, to Galicia Spain, sharing my cello and song with a the simple message, “Walk On” on the back of my cello case ~ providing a case of quiet, constant, inspiration.
Through time, effort, encouragement and donations from new and continued friends and family, I was able to purchase my carbon fibre cello from Luis & Clark ~ a considerate and kind family company. The first time I played my new cello was at a Full Moon Walk where guests shared its tone was so full, they heard a symphony! I love my cello very much! Thank You Stephanie and Luis.
Catharine Baier (one of my Angels) thank you for the extended loan of your Luis and Clark carbon fibre cello that debuted the in stunning clear -25 degree weather of the Full ‘Cold’ Moon December 2013. Catharine also shared ‘Hope’ (named during TCTW 2013) when I played the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler BC.
Thank you dear friends Karen and Dave Jeffery of the Sunset Theatre, and thank you beautiful Karen Jeffery, who created original jewellery talisman, through The Time of the Soul is Now.com to enhance TCTW’s themes (Listen, Forgive, and Hope). Thank you for your infinite support, thoughtful management, guidance, creativity and giggles!
Hugs Michaela Jeffery for editing my work along the way – there will be much more to come – I can’t wait! <3
Thank you: Kelly Schuler of Brave Communications (publicity, friendship, on-the-path and in the studio support with enthusiasm), Joni Millar of Tilt Creative (‘On it!’ awesome designer of my advertisements and Super Mom), Paul and Kristen Van Ginkel (still smile about your generous and sneaky sharing of your magical paintings and your Inglewood Art Gallery!), Annie, Paul and Larry Chirka (a family wealth of experience and expertise in video, photography and sound).
Just a few individual thank yous to: Doug Wong, Stacie Dunlop (voice teacher extraordinaire), Joe Novak, Orunamamu, Don Horsburgh, the Yilmaz family, Barbara and Peter Barry, Mary Sullivan, Eugene Stickland, Dallas Carlson, Debra Ross, Francis Willey, Bruce Hildesheim, Peebo Mondia, Cend Tol, Desere Pressey, Michelle Wesley, Zveta Panova, Louie Pisterzi, my new Camino Family!, Togna Mouwen, Lerrita Rubinoff, Julie Hicks, Elinor Holt, Raymond and Greta ManyBears, Michelle Thrush, Barbara Thrasher, Barry Wayne, and Michael Fitzpatrick… my ‘Earth Calls,’ Dalai Lama Cellist Archangel!
<3 Thank you my beautiful loving children for your patience and understanding these busy years… Bronwyn and Amelia you are the best children a Mom could ever ask for! and… Mom, Dad, Craig, Ian, the whole extended shebang ~ you’re all a pretty cool, interesting and loving bunch!
Thank you to my Red Road Cello Studio family ~ I am a very fortunate teacher to have you all in my life. My studio was flexible and understanding as Elizabeth Munson and Patty Mastalerz gained crucial teaching experience (part of a teacher training program we began in the fall of 2013). Thank you Garrison Green Seniors Residence friends for your continued support of me, my teens, and Good Vibrations! (Adult Cello Ensemble).
Thank you MRU for your raising of fine baby cellists/string players through the Early Child String Program, and for supporting my actions to train excellent young motivated cellists pedagogy, then integrate them into the program before and while I walked the Camino:
Calgary has two new, wonderful, dedicated young teachers with on-site training. This kind of collaboration makes our world a brighter place.
Thank you to my spectacular, dedicated, talented, hard-working, passionate and present music and theatre family. I feel your support as water at roots ~ significant and essential.
Bouquets to you… our AUDIENCES, for making the effort to come and share these times. Your spirit and presence is Divinely important as you carry the messages, invite others, help build the positive, and invigorate us all in so doing ~ Love your way!
Thank you to my world-performing solo cellist long-time sister Amanda Forsyth, former Principal Cellist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, who surprised me with the gift of her beautiful carbon fibre CODA bow (I love playing with a bow she put her vibes into!).
Thank you Jeremy Brown (wow! saxophonist, scholar and conductor) for believing in and including me when commissioning a piece by our own Canadian Christiaan Venter for cello, alto sax and the Calgary Wind Symphony (the only music that I carried on the Camino Trail!).
Thank you Amy Wilson Glenn, gifted pianist and friend, for coming together following Camino and creating our new recital/talk series: Unstoppable Love. Three performances seen in Calgary ( <3 Steinway Concert Hall) and two in Prince George with the amazing PGSO conductor, pianist, and singer Kevin Zakresky for the 2015 Canadian Winter Games!
Thank you dear Jeff Fafard, my a longtime beloved guy, friend, awesome theatre and Cuban drummer who lovingly gifted me the ticket for my cello ~ Calgary to France return. Jeff was my Guide, Trip Planner, Knight, and serious Guru of Gear! Don’t leave home without him!
One thing remained ~
I had no cello case! I needed an extremely light, durable cello case with a backpack that could house 10 kilos of supplies and endure the 820-kilometre trek. I searched at first to no avail, and then… a ray of light: The Sound Post! Thank You Alistair and The Sound Post, Toronto Ont., for your incredible willingness to loan me an elite Accord cello case, weighing in at a mere 4.5 lbs including the back-pack rig. I believe Alistair’s words were “At The Sound Post, we try to support the Artist in any way we can” ~ WOW! The case was perfect, even when it accompanied me on far tougher mountainous training climbs. The staff were helpful, professional, and what could have been tricky re: shipping, was just plain easy.
The Camino de Santiago is known as a path that honours spiritual growth. My Camino consciously began at age forty-seven and continues today, as I move through new recent and devastating blows.
Thank you Michael Green, my partner, for being a quintessential example of unconditional, free, joyous and funny love. Length of time together does not equal depth of love: we waited 20 years to be given opportunity to come together and did so with unreserved vulnerability and commitment… Michael died with three friends in a fatal crash six months later.
It took a Canadian village to allow this one woman to give, create and share her encouraging musical journeys. Over these years I have learned a few things… the simple message, “Walk On,” is a good one, however, “Be Still then Walk On” is even better. It is helpful to first honour our past and present, take stock in the truth that is today, rest, observe, listen to your dreams, and then walk ~ one foot then the next ~ towards a better place, a better condition and a better future. We are not alone… in this walk that is Life, we walk together.
Michael walked the Camino with me with undeniable support. Across 820 kilometers the Camino spoke to me: “It’s all about Love.”
Allow Love to be first to inform considerations, decisions and actions…not religion, politics, industry, ethnicity, gender or geography. I held fast to my belief in the existence of this kind of Love, and I know it exists. It requires courage, vulnerability, trust, honesty, listening, understanding, forgiveness, action, consideration, respect, humour, creativity, sacrifice and joy! It requires all of us… and this Love is worth it.
It is this Love that will help heal the Earth.
My cello received her name at a crossroads, sharing sausage, cheese, dates and bread with Jeff Fafard and Martha Ashley (a wise, young German artist woman); “El Peregrina” fittingly christened with a douse of Spanish red wine, will continue along the Good Red Road, walking towards “where the sun shineth day and night.”
“Put only Love on the Pillar”
Thank You <3
Thank You <3
Thank You <3
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