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Sound Explorations

Ms. Rawcliffe has taught a variety of musical workshops: improvisation, playing strange and wonderful musical instruments, playing the didjeridu and more. Some workshops are designed to explore the healing effects of sound, including a variety of didjeridu workshops and private lessons; workshops with various men's and women's groups; in addition to the Ojai Foundation, CA; Sound Colloquium, New Hampshire; and more.

Participants explore Ms. Rawcliffe's instruments in a variety of structured and improvisational contexts, sometimes with percussion or vocalizations. Because most will be unfamiliar with these instruments, there will be no expectations about how they 'should' sound, what kind of music they 'should' produce. They look friendly, are easy to learn and have fascinating timbres, giving players a terrific sense of freedom. Tuba flutes use large and small hand gestures to produce a quiet and gentle sound that is wonderful for two to four individuals in intimate conversation. Space whistles and flutes produce combination tones similar in sound and effect to the Peruvian whistling bottles. Caused by the interaction of the flutes's high, intense sounds, these tones seem to move inside the head, creating an acoustical space which erases barriers between players. Inspired by Olmec ceremonial sound devices, howlers vibrate our bodies with amazing sounds that range from plaintive, to crying or coughing, or to howls like monkeys. In addition, participants may chant and vocalize with the didjeridu and play in small ensembles with hooded pipes.

"A public lecture/demonstration on Susan's work was held and several rehearsals and instruments building sessions were held with a small number of interested local artists/musicians. This resulted in participation in a public performance with Susan at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. I believe this was an especially important connection between the artist and the community. We were aware of the great stretch it took for these basically un-schooled participants to vocalize, play and experiment with Susan in music undoubtedly new to their experiences."   Jay Andersen, Executive Director, Grand Marais Art Colony

Making and playing clay musical instruments
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For workshops, performances or other information, please contact:
Susan Rawcliffe
P.O. Box 924
San Pedro, California 90733

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