Imagination, creativity and inspiration through music and soundscapes have always been a part of my world. It’s a way I can communicate and connect with others on a deeper and more magical level. I look into the river, into the space of that magic and mystery and hear the stories come through. Then I relate these stories through didgeridoo and other instruments or singing and bring them out to connect and communicate with people who love the deeper vibes of music. I love sharing these musical stories with listeners. It touches that space and higher qualities in them and I see the lights go on. And so the mutual sharing of warm vibes begins. I love that! I first learned I had these skills when I was very young and shared them with my family. It wasn’t long after that I started sharing them with friends and many others through performing and composing. It’s my own way to help bring a little peace and sonic nourishment to help foster a planet of happy humans.
I am deeply grateful to the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal communities who have been so generous in sharing this amazing instrument and culture. Without such generosity, I would not be able to make the music I make. Thank you!
~~~ "There is no music without the listener" ~~~
Currently based on the Oregon Coast, Pamela Mortensen started her journey playing and composing music at the age of six discovering the organ as her first instrument. This exploration fostered a love of sound, making music and sound synthesis. Primarily a self taught, musician until the age of 17, she learned everything from old pop standards to classical to television themes and jazz playing everything by ear. It wasn’t until she met her first teacher Carl Jangord that she started to learn to read music. Jangord saw the gift she had and started to build on it giving Pamela the tools she needed to begin to compose music. There was no looking back.
Pamela went on to attend Cornish College of the Arts where she studied classical composition under Bern Herbolsheimer and Janice Giteck. She graduated cum laude in 1996. Her sound synthesis and orchestration experience at both Cornish and a local community college spurred her love of developing soundscapes and music based in deep human emotions. She went on to win several awards including two Seattle Artist awards from the Seattle Arts Commission in 1998 for Our Last Good-byes for orchestra and choir and 1999 for Harold’s Adventures based on Harold and the Purple Crayon.
In 2004, she begin to develop her skills at recording further adding to her rich and imaginative palette of sounds and feelings. Since then, she has produced seven of her own albums of music as well as producing music for other projects. Her collaborations with other artists include Egyptian tabla master George Sedak, Citta Flow (now Yamiaya), Alexandra Be and Edward Zincavage. Most recently, she has been collaborating with sound healer Julie Dittmar providing music for a series of guided meditations.
In addition to being a performer and composer, she is also an instructor and mentor for students in keyboard, didgeridoo and voice. Her approach to teaching is to bring out the best in her students capabilities while being supportive and offering a sense of fun and humor.
“It’s a way of passing along what I learned from Carl many years ago
Though primarily a keyboardist, in 2005, the didgeridoo entered into Pamela’s musical experience. It ended up being a life changing experience as she has explored the sonic capabilities of this ancient instrument.
“I never thought I would be playing an instrument like this,” says Mortensen, “But I’m glad it came along. I’ve learned so much about acoustics, organic sound synthesis and more importantly discovering deeper relationships, passions and connections with music and letting that bring out the best in me.”
She has since to go on as one of the top female players of the didgeridoo in the world.
“There are only a handful of us out there playing the didgeridoo on a professional level so I feel honored to be doing what I’m doing.”
Mortensen fully believes the didgeridoo has helped to bring her full circle from an apprentice to journeyman to seasoned musician who is keen to bringing the best of herself and others to the table musically and otherwise.
“Who knows where any of this will lead.” She says, “but it’s not so much about the destination as it is the journey.
And so the journey continues……