Monday, 28 December 2015

OM KALI FILM LAUNCH ON NEW YEAR'S DAY 2016





A Personal Invite to join us in a 5 minute meditation wherever you are in the world
 @ 12pm on New Year's Day 
2016 UK time
OM KALI

We would like to invite you to sit with us, wherever you may be, to launch our exciting & innovative 5 minute meditation via film & mantra

... and then kindly share it online with all your friends on facebook, twitter and any other social media site you can think of, to help us raise awareness and funds for Sound Memories; to continue to develop an innovative new way of working within the arts, empowering those living with dementia.


You can donate to Sound Memories here:







Full Details of the Sound Memories Project 
are available here ... 
http://soundmemoriesproject.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/gofundme-sound-memories.html





When Sand Artist, Sean Corcoran, heard how I am raising funds for my collaborative arts research with older people living with dementia, supporting them through Sound therapy to develop a digital story bank of their life memories, he immediately opened his heart and offered to create a collaborative piece of work across the Irish Sea.




Sean, Co-Director of The Art Hand in Bunmahon, was drawn to my new and ever popular fundraising album 'apples in the rain' and he could not get the track OM Kali from his mind.

Please visit Bandcamp to download & purchase 'apples in the rain'
 to raise funds for Sound Memories :-
https://cherylbeer.bandcamp.com/album/apples-in-the-rain




It is the tradition within Sanskrit Mantra, particularly with Tibetan Monks, that the listener does not know the definition of the mantra, does not apply pre-ordained meaning and that he/she embody the mantra to sense it from within.

Without knowing who Kali is or what she represents, Sean designed his whole beach art work whilst listening to me in mediation with the Sanskrit mantra, designing his response, an octo-sea creature, as frightening as the sailor drowning octopus who  can sink whole fleets, and yet, here she is is, so vulnerable washed upon the beach, stranded in her full beauty. Hearing her plea to heal, the sea rescues her, pulling her slowly back under the waters with salt tinged fingers, where all that is left is a memory of her in the sand.




Om Kali was written as a Sanskrit Mantra under an ancient apple tree in France, where I was resident Sound Healer for the month of September. 

The mantra calls for the empowerment and power of Kali to heal fractured hearts, enabling them to continue to travel though Universal time with respect, love and dignity as they navigate the ageing sands of time.


OM KALI film launch is a time lapse of Sean's artistic response to the Mantra on the stunning Copper Coast in Bunmahon & will be posted on this blog as well as Facebook 1st January @ 12pm.





To those of you who share with us in this New Year meditation and help to raise awareness and funds for Sound Memories, I will send reiki light and love to honour you. 

Namaste
Cheryl Beer


cherylbeermusic.weebly.com
cherylbeermusic@gmail.com

https://thearthand.wordpress.com/





Saturday, 19 December 2015

Where can I buy 'apples in the rain'?



My meditation CD 'apples in the rain' 
(a Collection of Sound Healing recordings from my time in Lower Normandy at Orchard Gites)
 is now available from these beautiful places:-

Greenspace Gallery
 Dorothy Morris
 Carmarthen

Morfa Isaf Farm
 Amanda Painting
 Llangrannog

Gong Studio
 Sally Davies
 Newcastle Emlyn


Tina Wills
 Green Valley Arts
 Ystradgynlais 


Heart Yoga Studio
 Debbie Brooks
 Kidwelly

The cost of the CD's is £13.00 each

All proceeds are donated to Sound Memories, a Sound Therapy & Story Project for our older community enabling them to devise their own dementia friendly reminiscence resources.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Volunteers needed at Basket Records


In order to raise funds for Sound Memories, 
my Sound Therapy & Story Project for older people; supporting them to make their own dementia friendly resources via the arts, 
I have set up Basket Records.


BASKET RECORDS VOLUNTEERS

It's quite straight forward, if you think you can sell 10 CD's to your friends and family then you will receive a loving basket.

In each basket there are 10 CD's of my new album 'apples in the rain' a collection of recordings from my time at St.Quentin les Chardonnets, Lower Normandy as a Sound Healer at an Artists retreat.

Some recordings are under an apple tree, others are in the little church down the country lanes from the very beautiful Orchard Gites.

I am looking for Basket Records Volunteers 

... to sell a basket of CD's

There are 10 CD's in each basket and they cost 

£13.00 each

My maths isn't fabulous but I reckon that means each basket will raise a whopping 

£130.00 for Sound Memories

All monies will be returned to me and deposited into gofundme.me/sound-memories with a personal thank you for the kindness of the volunteer responsible (that's you friends)

I buy the baskets 2nd hand at the charity shops in Llandysul, so that they are a loving exchange helping someone else.


And the very first basket is going to

Greenspace Gallery 

... in Carmarthen Town Centre

Greenspace Gallery is owned by renowned artist

Dorothy Morris.

Thank you for your kind offer to stock one of the Sound Memories Baskets in such a beautiful space. You can have a good look at the Gallery by popping in for a cuppa and home made cake. The details are on Dorothy's website:-

www.dorothymorris.co.uk/greenspace-gallery

If you are interested in being a volunteer for Basket Records, please email cherylbeermusic@gmail.com 
or drop me a line on facebook

Together, we are the change ...


Mantra Nativity at Pen Pych Community Primary School

What an incredible term we have had at Pen Pych Community Primary School where I have been contracted as Arts Consultant for Well Being in Primary Education for the last year and a term. This term we have focussed on Mindfulness.

Miss Price, the Head teacher and I have had one to one consultations with children and parents, a whole school origami experiment called LOVESWARM ...


And then for Christmas we worked with a small group of children to become peer leaders in mindfulness through music and mantra.

This little video is not of great sound quality, there is a distortion on the phone recording it, but never the less, it shows how our beautiful children can be equally as engaged in being still and quiet reflection through music.


The group performed this and 2 other pieces for the entire school who came a class at a time, sitting transfixed and almost mesmerised. Slowly but surely, they joined in, led by their peers, where my role is to hold the space for the children to 'be'.

Our aim next term is to extend child led Mindful Music sessions and start a parent/carer and child Meditation afternoon.

If you are a parent/carer of a child at Pen Pych Community Primary School and you like to get involved please contact

Miss Price
Head Teacher

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

How to buy 'apples in the rain'




https://cherylbeer.bandcamp.com/releases


Please support my work by downloading my new album
 'apples in the rain' a collection of  recordings from my time as a Resident Sound Healer at Orchard Gites, France. 

All profits are donated to Sound Memories, a Sound Therapy project for older people living with dementia.







Namaste



Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sound & Sand


Just wrapping up in the studio and it gives me immense pleasure to be pinging my 'hot of the press brand new first ever' meditation CD to the genius that is my dear friend & fellow artist  and activist/pioneer, Sean Corcoran, Co-Director of The Art Hand in Bunmahon, Ireland along with his gifted artist wife Miranda (and off course not forgetting their beautiful family)

Sean is the most exquisite sand artist.

And he has has asked for my recordings from France to listen to as he focusses on his next installation on The Copper Coast this Wednesday 25th November 2015.

He has sent me his design work which I won't share here cos it wouldn't really be fair, but it is a beautiful piece which he will be making in reponse to my sound recordings.


I absolutely love that recordings made by me in France, mixed at home in Wales, will be inspiring an artist in Ireland to create a beautiful piece of transient sand art that will be washed away ultimately by the same sea that washes upon the shores that inspire me day to day, here in West Wales.




 My heart and soul will be with Sean this week as he time lapse films the sand art installation. 



How wonderful will that be. He'll then edit a wee film for the sand art and my sound healing from France.

Namaste, Sean




apples in the rain: NEW CD RELEASE



 Today is a very exciting day; A very exciting day indeed. This weekend myself and my very kind friend, Jeff Beer of Zero One Guitars (who used to be my husband but that's a whole other story for another time!) have been in the studio mixing my live recordings from my time as a Resident Sound Healer at an Orchard in Lower Normandy, France, earlier this year.


From earlier blogs you'll remember that I spent the whole of September at Orchard Gites owned by the very lovely and fabulous Artist who runs courses there, Alison Smith.

At 12pm every day, I sat beneath the Ancient Apple Tree outside my tiny gite.

I recorded most days but although the sun came out every day, it was a case of dodging the showers, marvelling at rainbows and kissing the stubborn breeze that found her way to my little tascam recorder or video camera.


Why is this particular collection of recordings so important to me?

There are lots of reasons but I will share here first, the most personal one.

10 years ago, I was very seriously ill. The NHS saved my life, for which I am very grateful, but along the way, a few 'rare side effects' left me with a blocked bile duct and a damaged pancreas.

I have been managing this new addition to the catalogue of missing or faulty parts of my body just fine, except about 3 years ago, I noticed that when I woke up in the morning, I had no voice. I mean absolutely no voice at all. Nothing would come out.

This makes going to work to lead engaging song workshops in community settings quite tricky. It also meant that performance was not possible because as time progressed, it wasn't just the morning that my voice disappeared.

In the middle of a song, I would sing and nothing would come out; absolutely nothing at all. It was so odd. I would be singing, but no noise came. Not for the whole song, but here and there. 

I became more and more miserable because I believed singing and my voice was who I was. Without these things, how would I possibly continue to be me?

It was part of the reason I decided to go back to Uni and do an MA in Drama. Perhaps this would give me a new outlet for my creativity.

And it did. I learnt how to be wonderfully considered, to strip back. It was mind blowing.

Jodie Allinson, my MA supervisor, asked me a question that would change my life:

'I am struggling to see where your authentic self is in this performance. Where is your authentic self?'

Off course, I was wounded. What did this mean? That somehow my performance was fake? When I was putting my whole self into it, heart and soul.

For the rest of the MA, I focussed on ethnography and then auto ethnographic work, deeply searching for a sense of self.

And then it dawned on me. Since my illness I had lost a sense of self. I didn't know who my authentic self was anymore. Instead I lived day by day, grateful to be alive and thanking the universe by spreading myself thin and giving all of myself to anyone and everyone who wanted or needed me. This would surely be why I was saved.

But what if ... the Universe ... had saved me  ... just to be me? And who was this me with 'a deteriorating voice'?

When I re-visited the specialist after my MA, he told me that the bile from my duct was eroding my vocal chords and to stop singing all together. 

So, I did. I composed stories on the ukulele such as The Tethered Fairy Ring, made books, wrote poems & cried alone in the silence.

And then I bumped into Jim Fox from The Centre in Swansea. I bought a little singing bowl from him and when I used it within my arts research with people who are living with dementia, little miracles started to happen.

People remembered things, laughed, opened up. My little singing bowl could sing for me.

I started to sell my jamboree of instruments collected throughout my life, so as to fund new ones, considered, meditative ones, from around the world.

Then at Christmas, I treated myself to a Sound Bath at Jim's place.

I had never been to a Sound Bath. I was quite nervous. We all sat in a little room at The Centre, Swansea and then Jim came in. He explained what was to happen, showed us how to breathe and guided us into meditation. Then he begun to play all of his beautiful instruments, laid in their own sacred space upon, what can only be described as, a Sound Altar.

It was singularly the most incredible musical experience of my entire life. When I came back to this planet, I overheard Jim telling someone he was qualified to teach others to become Sound Healers/therapists.

'So, I can learn to do this?' I butted in, feeling my heart beat so loud I thought it may have been replaced by a ceremonial drum.

Jim smiled, 'Yes.'

When I got home, I wrote to Jim about the training, which is accredited by the Association of Sound Healers, and booked in.

Now there was the matter of the course fees! Just under £1100.00 for the year if I paid all at once, cheaper overall than arranging monthly payments.

I decided to leave it in the hands of the Universe. I put my Martin guitar for sale on facebook and it sold over night to my dear friend Lorraine King, who is just the most lovely singer songwriter, so I could be sure Lily May, my guitar, was off to a great home.


My new Sound Studio

I decided to do the course intensively and be qualified within a year. You can do this if you are prepared to put in all the work. In hindsight, I can see the benefit of spreading it over a longer period as I have seen such a radical and immense change and growth in my life, that emotionally at times, it has been an exercise in faith that may have been easier over a longer period. Also I did the course on my own. Now this was a great privilege. I felt as though I were coming to see my very own Sound Guru.

My life became filled with immense joy. I found joy in being still, quiet, and journeying to inner self. I began to incorporate this into my work with primary school children, teaching them how to 'be' rather than focussing on 'doing'.

At last, I felt as though I were coming close to the authentic self I had searched for on the MA and I realised that the way to find self, was to not search at all, but to enable myself to 'be'. 

When I was very small, about 2 or 3 years old, I remember singing. I remember it feeling as if I were coming alive. Being so lost in the music, in the song, in the universe that I felt joined to it, as one to the whole. That nothing else existed.

Sound Healing brought me right home to this child, this inner seed inside me that shines when she is lost in sound, except I am not lost in sound, I am found in sound.

And then Jim and I got to the part of course where we would study Mantra. 

'I can't do this Jim because my voice is deteriorating. The Consultant has told me not to sing.'

In fact, because the Consultant had told me not to sing, I had decided that next September I would take a month out to be silent in France.

'Let's see,' said Jim, 'you might be surprised.'

And he was right. My voice loved mantra, the mindful repetition of sacred and spiritually connected melody ... not only gave peace to my mind, but my whole body rejoiced at welcoming home the vibration of my voice throughout my chakra.

And this was the birth of my intimate and integral relationship with the absolute joy that is Mantra. I knew immediately that mantra would be integral to my life from then on. Because of my daily relationship with mantra, my voice is no longer deteriorating. It is my healing voice. And this makes me smile a smile, like I have never smiled before.


So much so, that when I went to France for a month in September, instead of being in complete silence, on the contrary,  I went as a qualified Sound Healer and Therapist, chanting mantra to give love to the Universe for enabling me to 'be', to return home to self, to see the joy and love in the world, to understand that if we are doing what we love, then all avenues open to make it possible. To live my authentic self rather than a representation of her.



And that is why after a lifelong career in music, this CD is the most personal, the most loving, the most raw. It is just me, my healing voice, meditative music & mantra. It is not a representation of me, nor a me that I think I ought to be. It is who I am in the now.

The Universe has long tried to ignite a mantra relationship within me. When I was working as a Volunteer Musician in India 15 years ago , I set up a project for girls to learn the rites of passage mantra and was taught mantra alongside the girls by local women who kindly came to the orphanage. But I saw it as something I was enabling for the girls and I did not see how one day it would come to enable me. And I cannot help but think of those beautiful girls now they are young women. I often wonder about them, where they are and how there's lives became.


apples in the rain


My new CD is a hand- picked, hand -made collection of authentic live recordings from under the ancient apple tree, with whom I fell in love and also secret recordings at  St. Quentin les Chardonnets church in the village, where the doors were left open in the daytime, just long enough to pop in and record mantra.

I have completely handmade the album using my water colour pencils and my lovely little printing kit. And nothing in my entire life has given as much joy, other than perhaps collecting shells from the beach or acorns from the forest floor.


I have called it 'apples in the rain'

My friend Miles asked me why. 


When I was playing with my paints, designing an apple design, I spilt some water on my work and it made me smile. It reminded me of those September showers in St. Quentin les Chardonnets where I had to keep ducking into the little gite in-between the sunshine, to miss the showers, or rushing in to put on a cardigan against the weighing breeze. 

And then I thought about why I am here, in this studio, making these very fragile, yet somehow beautiful contributions to the universe. 

Apples need rain just as much as they need sunshine. 

As I listen back to my recordings of this new voice, this healing voice, it seems to me that the apples are an analogy for life.

I took my voice for granted. I won't do that again. Reiki has taught me that I deserve to love myself and for the first time ever, I love myself enough to do what I love, and in so doing, I pass the love to you, my friends.



Track Listing

1. Gayatri Mantra sung in the little church at St.Quentin les Chardennets one morning when the doors had been left open.. The Gayatri mantra is the oldest known Sanskrit mantra thought to be the universe herself.




 
2. apples in the rain: Sound Healing with my meditative instruments sat under the ancient apple tree at Orchard Gites with a handful of beautiful guests.

 


3. OM Hiranya on the lawn with Fudge the dog & my African Djembe, under the old apple tree, joined by the bird chorus. This is an ancient heart mantra.

4. Om Kali Vimanas calling upon the assertiveness, wisdom, strength and resilience of all womanhood, acknowledging all her suffering in asking her to mend my broken heart.


5. Less is more sung with my shaman drum from Canada and Tibetan Singing bowls, stood bare foot in the vegetable patch at Orchard Gites, Lower Normandy.


Thank you

Many thanks and so much heart love and reiki light to Alison Smith for welcoming me to her Orchard gites as a resident Sound Healer.



So much love to Jim Fox for being sent to me and his beautiful wife Kiera for teaching me to love again with reiki.

Biggest respect to Jodie Allinson for having the courage to question, nurture, expand and encourage the growth of this middle aged woman.
  
You can download your copy of apples in the rain from Bandcamp. Here's the link:-

https://cherylbeer.bandcamp.com/releases






Namaste















Saturday, 17 October 2015

A taster of The Tethered Fairy Ring LIVE in France


So excited to share with you this little fairy taster of  my composition 'The Tethered Fairy Ring: A Symphonic Poem for Ukulele' being performed here by myself and Susan Berry in a beautiful old church in the centre of
 St. Quentin les Chardonnets
Lower Normandy, France.

An authentic unedited film of the full 20 minute performance is now available:

Kindly email me at: cherylbeermusic@gmail.com
for details of cost & postage.

Many thanks  and much love to you in advance
for supporting our work.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Living Total Truth





I find myself at a point of great transition, with many important things hanging in the air; Where to live, how to immerse myself full time as an 'artist' in my own right, the financial concerns, physical exhaustion, broken heart ... I expect you know some, if not all and more of this list too, yes?

Rather than worry about these things in the way I would usually, rather than make endless lists of how to solve all my problems simply by ticking off the things on the list, I have been allowing my thoughts to float past me on a flowing river of life. A bit like a really important game of pooh sticks! Watching ideas float alongside each other as they bob and jostle, travelling light beneath the bridge.



And I stand on that bridge, calmly focussed on my breathing. I have let go of the constant stress of finding potential solutions. 

I have done this by imagining they are autumn leaves of all different sizes, textures and colours. I have looked at them and wondered at the beauty of each one without lingering and then let them go back to the flow of the river, waiting to see the other leaves that come. 

This evening, a new leaf came. one that has never come before; one that is making my heart skip a beat. A thrilling, challenging, exciting, immersion into how I want my life to 'be'. A chance at total truth; a beautiful, blissful risk. 


The river has stood still, this autumn leaf does not want to leave and the river does not want to take it. I will sleep with it under my pillow ... 





Thursday, 8 October 2015

Most Ancient Tree




Aren't trees awesome! 
I mean, ALL trees ...

...  but in actual fact, it transpires that some trees 
are even MORE awesome than you first guessed!




This is me (left) and April Song. 
You may recognise my dear friend 
and soul sista from earlier blogs.

Today, after a wonderful catch up in Greenspace Gallery, Carmarthen, we didn't feel we wanted to go home, so we went to the woods at 
Carmarthen Museum in Abergwili. 


I have been coming to this woods for many years. It's usually full of dog walkers when I come at tea time, but this afternoon, it was pretty much us, apart from the odd person or dog.



And we happened upon this exquisite tree


With cascading flutters of butterfly leaves



April knows a good deal about trees. 
Their names, their healing qualities, 
which ones make good buttons ...

But she did not know this one




So, I took photo's and then when I got home I sent one to my friend Rob. This is Rob (below) at The Men's Shed Project. I'll let you work out which one looks clever enough to  know everything there is to know about ... well ... just about everything it seems, though he doesn't shout about it. On the contrary, he's most unassuming about his wisdom and wizardry.



And it tuns out that our tree is really a rather ancient and rare species called

Ginkgo biloba





Now then, there is a male tree and a female tree and they pollinate each other, one having cones and the other having cone shape reciprocals. 

This has worked for them since dinosaurs ate their fluttering leaves. However, this particular tree is the last breed of the ancient species.

Here's a wiki link incase you're as fascinated as I am in this beautiful find:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba


Poetry to change lives: National Poetry Day




It gives me great pleasure on National Poetry Day to tell you about a very meaningful piece of poetry that I was involved with this week.

On Tuesday, I was invited to take part in Reconstructing Ourselves. 

Here is a quote from their website to explain the project:-


'Recontrsucting Ourselves is an Arts Council Wales funded project exploring the stories, lives and experiences of breast reconstruction patients and staff at Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

As part of this new Artist in Residence scheme for ABMU healthboard (running from Apr 2014-Sep 2015) Prue Thimbleby (www.prue.thimbleby.net), Sarah Wright and Rhian Solomon (www.rhiansolomon.co.uk) – a duo of Artists and a clinical Anthropologist - will be working alongside clinicians and patients from Morriston hospital – listening, talking, interpreting and recreating the detailed dialogues and narratives of the people that they meet.

Sarah Wright will be leading a research strand to the project - asking the question; 'Does giving patients the chance to record what they want to say to the consultant and playing this at the start of the consultation improve the outcome?'

Rhian Solomon will be leading art workshops with the patients, facilitating creative works in response to their experiences. 

The project will culminate in a symposium and exhibition which will show the results of the research, a new collection of work by Rhian Solomon which wil be informed by art workshops with patients and staff and a series of digital stories(www.swanseastorytelling.com) told by participants involved in the project. The stories will be facilitated by Prue Thimbleby and will involve photography students from The University of Wales, Trinty St David. The university will also be supporting Rhian Solomon through access to their specialist workshops and studios.' 



I was contracted to do 2 things at the Symposium: to perform my daily practice of music & mantra in showing how I have applied the arts in reconstructing myself and to spend the day at the event as an Ethnographic Poet.

Here is the first page of my report from my work as an ethnographic poet on the day to explain my role more clearly:_


 Reconstructing Ourselves

Creating an Evaluative Dialogue with Ethnographic Poetics

Ethnographic Poet
Cheryl Beer


Ethnographic Poet, Cheryl Beer, combines the skills of a participant observer and poet to collate dialogue that represents the thoughts and feelings fed back by event attendees, project participants and speakers at the Reconstructing Ourselves Symposium.

In creating a dialogue through immediate response poetics, we are enabled to integrally apply the arts in measuring itself.

Although the influence of the ethnographic poet cannot be divorced from the dialogue content chosen for the poetic structure, the poems created reflect the tone and emotion, sentiment and political view  from recipients, rather than that of the poet. The ethnographic poet is a conduit.

The skill of the ethnographic poet is to hold the poetic framework as objectively as is possible within qualitative research, whilst acknowledging the presence of self, so as to capture the essence of the symposium dialogue.

Cheryl Beer has 35 years of experience within ethnographic poetics, applying this honed skill in many arts settings. For instance, she collated ethnographic poetics from 270 members of the public from across 7 counties, to write a collection of 30 songs for part of the research regarding the '21 Year Vision of the Arts' kindly funded by The Arts Council of Wales, Arts Connect and The Welsh Government.

More recently Cheryl's work has been part of an academic journey during her MA Drama,  influenced by the research of Frances Rapport (2013) embedding ethnographic poetics firmly within the debate regarding the validity of such research as qualitative analysis.

At the Reconstructing Ourselves Symposium, Cheryl performed some of the dialogue as a spoken word poem in the morning and she engaged 7 attendees of the symposium to participate in a final sharing of music and ethnographic poetics in closing of the event.


Reference: Rapport. F. (2013) Fragments: Transcribing the Holocaust. Hafan Books. Swansea



So, as you can see, the application of ethnographic poetics in this context quite literally is part of an Arts & Science Movement that is changing the lives of women who have undergone or are undergoing breast reconstruction.

The very exciting news & so apt for  National Poetry Day, is that the poems are now going to be made into one of the books within the exhibition  showing at Morriston Hospital and you can arrange to go and visit and read them alongside all of the amazing life changing work.

If you would like to go to the exhibition, here's the link to the contact page of the website where you can get hold of Prue Thimbleby, the Arts in Health Co-ordinator: 

 http://www.reconstructingourselves.com/#!contact/c16fm