My journey is taking me to some extraordinary places to perform. On Saturday the 4th, the November Full Moon rose behind me on Viiankiaapa Nature Reserve in Sodankylä, Finland. We were gathered there to honour and protect this beautiful area as it is under the threat of becoming destroyed by mining. It is already a nature reserve but plans are to null this status in order to be able to turn it into a profitable mining site in short term, offering the untouched beauty and rich biodiversity of this special place for long term devastation. We all know this story... as it is rampant in our world.
Here is a short clip from the concert, my original song called 'The Opening' which I created before my daughter was born, before I even knew I would ever become a mother. Afterwards, through this song, I felt like her energy was coming in, preparing me to receive and welcome her. The future generations... the world is a much more complex place than when I was born, those 40 years ago. It is certain that the lives of our children will be dramatically different still, from what we are able to foresee. Returning to simplicity in the complex world, whenever possible, is for me an act of self love and love for the planet. Using technology is and will be a part of it, but never to forget that we live as a part of a much larger organism, that humans depend on Mama Gaia, Planet Earth, as our home, companion and provider of all we truly need to live.
We were so blessed at Viiankiaapa, as it turned out to be the perfect evening for an outdoors concert in the wilderness. The wind was still, with just a few degrees below zero, no snowing (or raining) during the concert and those nearly clear skies to let the Full Moon truly shine on us. I closed my eyes, singing from my soul, inviting the clarity and the power of the Full Moon to immerse with my whole being. May we all feel connected with Mama Gaia and the Universe, as we are so intrinsically connect.
Blessed be, in the Light of the Moon!
At the time of decay, characteristic for late autumn, I have been journeying with the fierce goddess KALI. She is often frightening at the first sight, but she is always there to catch you. Kali embraces you in your wild power, through deep dark pathways, holding the ultimate truth in her wisdom. Nothing is 'too much' for Kali. Never 'too deep', nothing 'too crazy', nothing 'too challenging' for her. As we see the transformation continuing in worrying or scary ways in our world, we are walking with Kali. To liberate we must reveal. To be free with must break loose.
I am breaking free of limitations. Like Kali, without excuses, she connects directly with her TRUTH beyond any other authority. The world needs our truth now. I journey through time lines, cultures, traditions. With respect, curiosity and willingness to create something new. Dancing with the tradition, in a new context, with a new perspective, I offer what comes through me. I had an intense, creative week working on an exhibition, Kven Connection, at Varanger Museum in the remote coastal city of Vadsø in the Arctic Norway. In the 1800's Finnish migrants came to settle there, as they were plagued by severe hunger. When they reached the wild and abundant Arctic Ocean they could fish throughout the year in addition to their farming and raising cattle. They became one of the National Minorities in Norway, who most people know very little about.
For the exhibition I created 'New Traditional Kven Music', a song composed around loose words that start creating a meaning when put together. 'Tulthiin, Nähthiin, Jääthiin' (We came, we saw, we stayed) became a part of my sound installation for Kven connection:
I also experienced such forming of a new tradition of re-mixing cultural elements, with my daughter recently. Where we live now, there are lots of rowans. I remembered creating necklaces from the rowan berries as a child. We have 3 of these blessed trees on our yard (the new house we moved into this spring!) and our bird friends have been feasting for weeks already. Someone in our village had cut down rowan branches and I collected some for me and my girl. As we were beading the berries, I realised we were actually creating a mala instead of a necklace. A rosary. Symbolic for my creative work with music, weaving in traditions, creating something 'old' with a slightly new perspective, combining cultures and their wisdom.
These mala beads were dedicated to Kali Ma as red and black are her colours. And as all the leaves are gone already from the trees, the bare dark branches of the rowans keep highlighting the red berries, pulsating their vibrancy through the darkness that is getting deeper every day. Until the dawn of the new cycles comes.
VIBRANT rhythms of creation in the darkness for you all. Dance with the mystery and something new might be revealed to you.
P.S. If you want to bring the power of Kali Ma into your life and are you curious of her medicine and wisdom, I have created a (secret) invocation for you. You are welcome to read and listen her voice and words channeled through me over HERE.
This year has truly been transformational, as I wrote in January. Though I had no idea yet what was to come, I could feel it. I have since then bought a little white house on the Finnish /Swedish border where I originally come from. Everything started unfolding in a new way after this move, and this change already has had huge impact as my base is now completely reorganised. I have also reclaimed my semi-nomadic life style, despite being a house owning single mom.
One peculiar thing is that though I still live in a rather remote place (not the one pictured above!), people are streaming in, near and far, physically and energetically, and new connections are being created at the same time as existing connections are going through some high vibrating upgrades! Holy wow. One such upgrade happened just last week as I was asked to create a wedding ceremony in the desert for two very special friends. This experience worked it's magic like a charm and through this process, not only my friends got their Unique Universes Unified, I felt I went through yet another initiation as well, a new portal. Balancing the masculine and the feminine energies, with creative magic as our guide, with a Full Moon Drum and soil from the birthplaces of the man and the woman we wove a web of pure, new potentiality to come forth. I was honoured to be the Creatrix of their Ceremony.
The desert on Full Moon is indescribably powerful. To spend 3 nights under it's spell, especially during these otherwise turbulent times, was beyond what I have ever experienced before. The beauty, the magic, the past, present and future of human kind.... moving through as visions, inklings, understanding beyond logic. I also had my moon time on the full moon and for the first time, offered my blood back to Mother Earth. This being the land of Israel, the birth place of all the biggest religions, where stories have been written for some of the oldest books we still read... this holy and conflicted land. To claim my Goddess Essence there felt like embodying the Essence of the Sacred Female as the old structures based in patriarchy were made obsolete. Like a Rebel Goddess of all the silenced women finally free to express her full essence without hiding or excuses or fear of persecution. The Radiant Sun and the Full Moon, aligned with Mother Earth to empower this initiation. I felt blessed beyond measure and at the same time, realised on a deeper level the responsibility bestowed on me, through this power, in unleashing my full potential in service for Human Kind and this Planet. I am a Goddess Rising and I claim my sovereignty as one. Under the open skies, bare footed, embraced by the silky, ancient sand and balmy desert air, the Creative Essence of All Life felt very close, benevolent and generous. What a gracious gift! I am forever in awe for this Living Wisdom.
This was a life changing event and I still linger in the mystery of it all. And yet there was more to come: after those 3 transformational days and nights in the depth, the silence, the purity and power of the desert, I parted from the wedding whirlwinds and visited a dear in friend and her family. I also had the chance to give a concert and a workshop for the first time in Israel.
Leaving you with a little taste of the inner processes that has been in motion for a while now, I offer you this short clip from our concert. It is a song to honour the hearts of muslim mother's throughout the world. The eye on Fatima's Hand is crying... There is no protection from all the evil present in our world at this time... but as we Unify our Inner Universes beyond cultures, beyond religions and belief systems, we can find that transformational power of the Human Heart. Heart to heart, soul to soul. There is no other way to find peace. This song is an example of my Vocal Mosaics (all live recorded voices) and what I have decided to call Global World Music.
From my weeping, celebrating, deeply grateful and constantly transforming heart to yours.
There has been a sense of 'newness' since the beginning of 2017 for me. I have been on a transformational, creative journey for most of my life, but something shifted in a BIG way. This is a year of Courage, Authenticity and Radiant Action for me.
It started with closing 2016 through a process of falling in love with my past. I decided to honour everything and to allow myself to feel amazed by all the things I have done and experienced. I decided to truly appreciate all that I am and all that I have been. From that place of profound acceptance, such joy and inspiration arose to create a New Life with this pure being-ness as it's essence. I will share all of me from a place of fearless authenticity, joyful creation and trust in magical connections.
Making Snow Angels with my little girl Mimi and my mom was a beautiful part of this process of falling in love with my past - and how this love reaches far into the future! It is time now to truly trust my wings. It is now time to fly! And to know that magic exists. Within each of us.
As something new and exciting to share with you, I have started offering IRINDIRA BLESSINGS - a personal vocal activation for you to align you with your core essence, to support you, to comfort you and to encourage you to fulfil your life's purpose! Included in the blessing is also one question about any area of your life you want some guidance on and I will channel you a loving message from my guides. If you are interested, please contact me directly (meri.nikula(at)gmail.com) and I can share with you the details.
Wishing you a transformational 2017!
With love, joy and inspiration,
This summer I retrieved my lifestyle as a Creative Nomad. With my little girl Mimi, on her second summer, we traveled and I performed as well as taught Voicing Your Body -workshops again. I enjoyed enormously meeting friends, old and new, creating expansive circles of inspiration spiralling forth and taking people on journeys with me, through my music and through each their own personal experience with Voicing Your Body.
ART: Dragonfly Deity by Barbara Courtille (YoginiThreads)
In Paris I had the pleasure of reconnecting with some dear collaborators and close friends (Yasmine Hugonnet, Léa Canu Ginoux) and new inspiring healers (Jacqueline Lebo) and artists (Barbara Courtille). In Corfu, Greece, staying, performing and teaching with the unique Zoe Valerie at Casa Lucia, we got to enter a whole new island. I had my concert under a gorgeous pine tree that created a magical space under it's foliage, with an Nordic air given it's cooling shade as well as the lichen growing on it's extensive branches.
PHOTO: Pine Tree with Meri by Alexandros Angelakis
There are more photos and videos coming up... however, for now, I am unwinding. While traveling, I had very little time online, which was wonderful, being able to simply receive what was. Now as we are in Finland, still traveling but more 'at home' at the same time, I am both more connected to the world wide web as well as the nature. Listening to the sound of silence that awakens my soul... and brings me deep peace and sense of serenity.
PHOTO: Selfie in the woods of Northern-Carelia, Finland
The summer is finally here! May has been an amazing month with a lot of movement and expansion for me. I have been working on my upcoming travels, with my little girl, doing creative work: teaching and performing as I go! And there are lots of exciting things coming up in autumn as well...
For a little taste of what has been going on, I will share with you a few moments of a 9 day Sensual Nature, dancing in the nature challenge that I was invited to participate in. I found connecting with nature, with the Earth and the elements becoming deeper and deeper... and at the same time, I was becoming more fluid and peaceful in my own body and it's natural flows. It truly is so amazingly simple, yet so magical, to spend time with nature! Just dancing... without music, to your own inner flow. It can be a dance of relief, of release, a celebration, connecting with the inner child, connecting with the fairies, connecting with the stones and the goblins... In nature everything exists, the good, the bad and the ugly, in one glorious harmony.
This photo is a selfie I took after interacting with 10kg of soil. This was the beginning of a research for two new pieces: SPOROS - a nomadic creation I am working on with Zoe Valerie in Corfu, Greece. Sporos is the greek word for seeds. We will be planting a human tree that grows... with children included. For my new solo, TERRA NOSTRA, I am working on a bit different thematics:
'' Life long journey… one planet, countless humans. In search for their place, space to be, to grow, to breath, to plant their seed. People in motion, displaced. Birthing their lives anew. In hopes of finding fertile soil.
How do we find enough space and our place on this planet that is getting smaller and smaller as there are more and more humans? How can we honour humanness when there is violence, death, destruction?
We each carry the weight of our ancestry, our personal history as well as collective burdens as people from different cultures and backgrounds. Is there a way to release yourself from these burdens? Is there a way to use this wisdom to birth a new humanity, based on simple values, reverence for all life and authentic connections?
Nature is abundant. Staying grounded in the fertile soil, there is enough for everyone’s needs. Turning towards light we can renew ourselves again and again. What do you truly need to live a fulfilling life in balance and harmony, in creative collaboration with the Earth?''
(WORK IN PROGRESS. Concept, costume, performance and music by Meri Nikula)
First silent sketch on VIMEO: TERRA NOSTRA
Dancing Tree - First day of Sensual Nature. I found that walking outside, paying attention, simply being aware and appreciating the plants, the trees, their forms, their beauty and energy already creates a dance within me. On a little hill I met some dancing trees. I could feel their energy so strong... and if I could see nature spirits, I am sure there were plenty there. It seemed like a very special little space where secret gatherings would be held.
Totem Wand (Salamander-Goat-Dragon) and 9 Stones all found on the Full Moon Day, the last day of Sensual Nature.
I also took my frame drum with me in the forest, to initiate it into my use. It has been specially made for me and I love the drum - now we have an even stronger connection. During the Sensual Nature challenge I really re-established my connection with the Earth and felt supported by the Earth Elementals in a new way. I am only revealing you a few glimpses of this journey, as I am expanding my being-ness into what I am to embody... More, much more to come!
Wishing you a glorious beginning of summer! The Arctic Birches are finally opening their buds to let out the fresh new green, spreading over the mountain plateaus...
April was a month of inspiring experiences in the North, where spring comes late but it comes with amazing radiance and power!! I performed at LYDRØRT festival in Henningsvær, Lofoten Islands, on a gorgeous, sunny day. The stage was the most beautiful I have ever had, directly by the Ocean with mountains behind me.
PHOTOS: Dagmara Wojtanowicz
I also performed my improvised vocal journey COSMIC RADIO at Oulu Museum of Art, FINLAND, at the exhibition opening of Hanna Kanto's BEAM OF LIGHT. I was performing in the black gallery, wearing fluorescent light tubes as Hanna has on some of there paintings. Here is a short sample of the part where I enter the animalistic realms... or perhaps the mountains, embodied:
I also had two wonderful workshops, VOICING YOUR BODY. First one ever in Finland at VALVE, Oulu, where we had a big group of people emerging into intuitive movement and free vocal expression. As a part of LYDRØRT at Lofoten, we also started the day on Sunday by listening deeply to our inner resonance and expanding outwards - even to the space by the ocean, for an ending circle. Beautiful sharing, during both workshops - and I am looking forward for more!
Much love and radiant light,
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST at WORM, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
PHOTO: Cramer Florian
I had a wonderful time in The Netherlands in the beginning of this month. It felt very powerful to share my work again with a new depth it has started to radiate after spending some time in introspection, envisioning where I want my life and my creations to go. It is a time of great transformations in the world and in my personal creative work and all that it will express as a part of this transformation. I can feel it very strongly.
Up in the Arctic where I am based, we are now enjoying the season called 'Spring-Winter'. It means that the sun has taken over the darkness and we feel the spring in the air despite there being still loads and loads of snow! It is a dizzying time of the year with so much energy moving and swirling in the air. The sun is stunningly radiant, seeming to take over the whole wide sky.
I have been tuning into the opportunities up here for a while now, wanting to make more of my creative work in the North of Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Our collaboration with Hanna Kanto is bringing me to Oulu, Finland, to perform for the first time there as a solo artist. I am going to make a vocal improvisation called 'Arktisia kuulokuvia yhdelle äänelle' (Arctic Ear-scapes for One Voice) on the 8th April at Oulu Museum of Art (OMA).
I am also very happy to get to teach my very first Voicing Your Body course in Finland, on the 10th of April at VALVE Cultural Centre in Oulu. The course is already getting full, but there are a few spots left, if you are interested! Please send me an email to make a reservation.
In the end of April I will travel to the magical Lofoten islands which are famous for their natural beauty. I will perform at a one day festival LYDRØRT in Henningsvær on the 30th of April, where themes around emptiness will be expressed through sound art, dance and performance.
I will also teach a Voicing Your Body workshop on the 1st of May in Lofoten islands. For more information check the 'agenda' on my website closer to the dates.
I am sending you all some SPRING SUN to expand you further! I can't wait to see how this journey unfolds... So excited!!
THE SUN AND THE PINK GUARDIAN above our tiny house. The trees were full of 'cherry blossoms' made of huge crystallised flakes of snow that day. It was so beautiful, one of the rare, spectacular sights you don't see very often but that make you feel blessed to live here.
PHOTO: Meri Nikula
In the beginning of March I will start my nomadic travels as an artist and a transformational healer again. There will be something very different every day, from an evening without electricity at De Kleine Wiel, an ecologically built cultural space, where I will tune in with Nordic sounds acoustically, in candle light, all the way to an avant-garde event at WORM in Rotterdam on the International Women's Day where my performance Survival of the Fittest will be shown. If you are anywhere near, would be wonderful to meet you!
04.March at 20:30-22:00
Extrapool Event at De Kleine Wiel, NIJMEGEN
Solo Concerts without electricity by Meri Nikula (FI) and Richard Youngs (GB)
05.March at 19:00-20:30
Meditative Concert by Meri Nikula
Praktijik Zaklina Lecnik, ROTTERDAM
06.March at 10:00-14:00
VOICING YOUR BODY - workshop
Praktijik Zaklina Lecnik, ROTTERDAM
Participation: 35€ (with light, healthy snacks and tea/coffee)
08.March at 20:00-01:00
International Women's Day
FUCK YOU FRIEDRICH!
Solo Performance: The Survival of the Fittest by Meri Nikula and more
VIDEO STILL: Through The Wilderness Within
It has been a productive beginning of the year 2016 for me. I finally finished my video project 'Through The Wilderness Within' which I started filming when being pregnant in 2014. It was a profound and demanding process, where I also birthed myself anew as an artist. You can watch the video here: THROUGH THE WILDERNESS WITHIN
In the beginning of February I was also in Kilpisjärvi, Finland, at the Bioarctica Residency with Hanna Kanto, a painter from my home town who I have become close with in the past few years. She is working on her big solo exhibition for the Oulu Museum of Art (OMA) coming up in April. This video will be part of the exhibition, where the rest of the works are paintings. I have been collaborating with her on this video, which is still a work in progress. I am going to make the sound track for it and also sing in the opening of this exhibition on the 8th of April.
I am also starting my international travels again, first having a small tour in The Netherlands in the beginning of March for concerts, performances and a Voicing Your Body workshop.
With Snowy Greetings,
FILMING A NEW PROJECT at Kilpisjärvi, Finland. For once me behind the video camera! The premiere will be at Oulu Museum of Art (OMA) on the 8th. April 2016. I will also perform at the opening.
PHOTO: Hanna Kanto