The Shaman Child

The Shaman Child was originally written in March of 2016 as a song, as prayer of finding one's way back to remembering who they are why they came here. It is my song and prayer and I believe the song and prayer of many in this moment. May you enjoy, find connection and be inspired by it. It is for all of us. If you wish to support more work like this along with the music, please consider becoming a patron. It helps me to bring more work like this to the world. I thank you and send you blessings! 


She is my teacher, my guide. But I left her in the forest long ago for a foreign life that I was told I wanted. I did not know what damage I would do with this action – this neglect. Sure, I would check in on her from time to time and find her sitting there, covered with her blanket. She seemed to be chanting. It seemed a very private moment to me so I left her alone......and continued my journey. Numb. Unfeeling. Indifferent. It’s been very long for me - full of sleepless nights of questions of “How” and “Why?” Trying to figure my way through troubles. Falling down  Getting up. Falling down again.......I am very tired.

Now, that existence is falling apart, crumbling like a wall that can no longer bear its own weight. I am uncertain and sometimes scared. I want to run away but feelings of responsibility linger even though I don’t know what I can do. I don’t want to be covered with the dust of this wall and die choking. I become still and I hear her voice calling me. I go to the forest now and I am walking and walking until I find my way back to my child. She is there, this Shaman Child, sitting and chanting, wrapped in her blanket. I become still again and listen. I hear her song. It is a prayer. A prayer for me to come back.

My heart splits and opens and I feel the softness within. She feels my presence and stops. She stands up and faces me. We look at each other for a moment. Silent. She is dirty faced, scratched and messy haired. She has bruises here and there and her clothing and blanket are tattered and torn. But she is a beautiful child – this Soul that has been aching for my presence. My energy. She is at once, afraid, strong, loving, angry, wary and weary. But she is forgiving.....

She looks into me with her clear eyes and conveys how much she has missed and loves me. She trusts that I will stay this time and opens her arms to welcome me back. The softness inside me makes me go to her. We fall arm in arm and hold each other. We cry together in Love. There….in the middle of the forest…..

      We are here.

             We are Blessed

                      We are Love.

                               We are home…..


Pamela Mortensen,  27 March, 2016 (revised 3 March 2018)

Four Things You Can Do to Ease Your Music Practice

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So, there you are practicing your instrument and BANG things start to go south. Fingers aren't going where they want, lips aren't doing what you want them to or your voice slips into an intonation that could possibly be used for an alien movie soundtrack. So you try harder but it seems like the harder you try the more bound up things get. F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N! We've all been there so here are four easy things you can do to help ease things up a bit.

  1. Breathe in slowly and breath out slowly three times. Be aware of breathing low feeling like your filling your belly like a balloon instead of using your shoulders. If your shoulders try to horn in, just relax them. 
  2. Bend over and let you arms hang and relax. Then very slowly come back up while you observe your breath. If you are older and feel you can't bend that far, do your best. The important part is breathing. 
  3. Shake your hands, arms, feet, legs to shake all the tension out. Just let it all go. 

Now, go back to your instrument or singing and see what happens. Chances are you'll feel a little more relaxed. You'll breathe a little better and breathing through what you're doing often helps you get through that snag. 

So, what happens if these don't work? 

4. If you find that things still aren't working, just stop what you're doing and go get a cookie......Seriously. 

Ok, you don't have to eat a cookie but stopping in the middle of frustration and letting things go frees you up to come back to it later on. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that you have to keep going. You don't. Knowing when to stop is as an important part of practice as the doing. Here's why. It will give your body and mind the time it needs to process the techniques you're learning and it gives you time to calm down so when you come back later, you'll be a little bit better at what you're practicing. 

So, these are a few of the things I do in my own practice. I hope you find them helpful in yours. Let us all know by sharing your experience by leaving a comment below! You never know what others may find helpful. 

Happy practicing and keep making beautiful noise!

The Power of Music at Work

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Like many musicians, I have often been hit by muse, sat down, made or learned a piece of music and have come away feeling lighter and more at ease with the world. It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the creative fire of things, grabbing my power tools (i.e. a didgeridoo, Kurzweil keyboard, mixer and microphone) and pushing my sleeves up and going to work. I love that! My McDonald’s bred work ethic kicks in and bam, I’ve got a song. But what happens after the fact is where I run into some difficulties. Trying to “sell” people on the music has always been a wall that I’ve consistently run up against.  Like any other artist, I am not a natural born marketer and have to really work at trying to get it right. I try to list the benefits of the music I make when I'm releasing new work or works but often it comes off sounding like the sell job I'm trying to avoid. That’s where this article can come in to kind of explain the deeper purpose of what I do and hopefully communicating it in a concise way. So here goes. 

So what do you think of when I say “the power of music at work?” This was something that came to me when I was writing my Patreon bio the other day and I thought “this is an interesting phrase.” We have all heard the phrase “the power of music” but the “at work” part is something new. Music really is a workhorse of an art. I can’t think of any other art that has the power to move on all levels the way music does. That’s not saying other arts don’t have power, they do but music seems to be more powerful for us than most. It's in the background working away affecting us even when we're not aware of it. It's that tune that gets stuck in our heads and makes us smile every time we hear it. And it's that mantra that generates a calm and sane energy in a world that is all too often chaotic, crazy and disconnected.  I know from my own experience, playing and learning music at early age has helped to keep me connected to my essence or my higher self. I can solve problems a bit better and I can function a bit better after playing or composing for an hour or two. When I don’t play music for lack of time or whatever the reason, I get cranky. Seriously. I know many of who read this and who play music can relate. This is what I mean by “the power of music at work.” Here is how I can best sum it up:

Music is the kind of art that rolls its sleeves up and digs around in the dirt to help grow a garden for the mind and soul to thrive in. It grabs a screwdriver in one hand and a hammer in the other to help build a better home, a safer home by providing shelter for the spirit. It’s the rhythm that moves the body and spirit to dance our dance and the melody to sing our songs. And it’s the warm blanket that wraps around us to comfort and soothe us in times of despair, vulnerability and sorrow. It reaches in and grabs us in many different ways and helps us release the joy, the anxiety, the laughter, the pensiveness and all of the other thousands of ways we can feel. When we hear our favorite songs, we are moved into feeling better. When we play music we love, we experience connection with ourselves and others. When we feel better and feel that connection, we function better  and when we can function better, we can tap into our own power and clarity and open the gates to let creativity and imagination flow in. And when we can open the gates of creativity and imagination, there is nothing we can’t do. This is why I make music. To help both myself and others create a safe and inviting space to transform and transmute our world into a the place we would rather live in.

I honestly can't think of a better way to be of service.

Many thanks for reading! If you wish to share this, please do. I really appreciate it.

Be well,


Postcards From Mexico

This past October, I traveled to Mexico City to attend and participate in the 4th annual Festival Mexicano de Didgeridoo y Trompeta Maya. I had an amazing time meeting so many warm and welcoming people, seeing a part of the world I’ve never been in before, hearing so much beautiful music and feeling the sweet vibes from everyone who was there. If there is a single festival centered around didgeridoo I can recommend going to for sharing, learning and just plain loving, this is it. 

The festival is the loving gift of Omar De la Tejera, a gifted and devoted didgeridoo player, teacher and crafter from Xalapa, Mexico. I met Omar a couple of years ago when he came to America to attend the InDidjInUs Didgeridoo Gathering in Oregon. The deep love affair with didgeridoo and its vibration that Omar expressed then was (and continues to be) inspiring. It’s because of Omar and his vision of healing and opening the heart in a part of the world that has so many challenges that I found myself traveling to Mexico to be a part of this festival. I'm glad I did. 

Among the people I met are amazing spirits like Liliane Soares from Brazil who is inspiring a movement of women didgeridoo players at the same time inspiring a collaboration between feminine and masculine energies for a more balanced world. Didge Sisters Tania Veetmaya, Tania Moonsarat and Karo Nacho who played their music with a beautiful vibration that gently touched the spirit. Camilo Para from Columbia an amazing multi instrumentalist and teacher who's sense of humor is infectious. Markus Meurer from Austria, who played with his bandmates, Szabi (on jaw harp) and Döme (beatboxing) from Airtist that had us all dancing and celebrating with such an enthusiastic energy I thought none of us would ever come back to earth. Szabi’s beautiful partner Kristina, who wrapped us all in her sweet energy and presence. Anabel Hernandez who’s magical presence and divine love helped me to balance while I was starting to get sick towards the end of my trip. Thank you my Sister for your light and love and for taking the time to meet me at the airport to say farewell. And our amazing hosts Eduardo Castillo and his roommates, Anna, Juan, Miguel and Vlad who were so generous and so welcoming in sharing their home with those of us who traveled from afar. I can't thank all of you enough! 

There were so many other amazing players, teachers and crafters from Argentina, Mexico and Columbia who came and shared their gifts with us. Sebastian, Elias, Carlos, Javier, Havo, Denisse, Matias, Marianna and so many more whose names escape me at the moment and who all shared their wonderful gifts of experience, warmth and generosity. I can easily say I left a much richer person having met and heard all of them. Thank you!

As I mentioned before, Mexico, like many countries, is in a time of great challenge and change. It's a beautiful city in many ways even though there is still so much struggle economically, politically and education wise. I appreciate the chance to be there to witness the struggle and be a part of a group of people devoted to helping to transmute it.  This is what playing didgeridoo, or any other instrument for that matter can do - providing connection through music.  Many, many thanks to Omar for his vision and for having me to the festival. It really means a lot and I really look forward to coming back!

See you all next year!

So, I thought I would share with you some of the photos from the didgeridoo festival and trip. I hope you enjoy these postcards. Many thanks again to everyone who helped to make this journey possible. I’m honored to have been a part of it!

The Patreon Connection: Exploring Online Patron Support

To connect to my Patreon page just click the image above

To connect to my Patreon page just click the image above

As an independent artist, it's always a challenge to find ways of getting the music I make out there and find support for that music. For musicians, some avenues can include Youtube, websites, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon Music and a whole host of other online platforms not to mention performing and touring.  Since I've never had the experience of being signed to a label, I've relied mostly on performing, personal connection and a DIY online presence through this website, social media and download sites to get the music out there. I've engaged in subscription services like Taxi (and independent A&R for film music), Music Marketing Manifesto and checked out more DIY tips for musicians than I care to admit. There is a LOT of great information out there but it can be overwhelming not to mention time consuming. Since the massive changes that the music industry has undergone over the last twenty years or so, there is no shortage of an ever-evolving plethora of avenues for content creators to get their work out there. Patreon is one of those avenues.

I heard about Patreon about two years ago while taking a webinar.  Patreon is a platform where patrons and creators can connect to bring music, art, dance, comics, great ideas or what have you to an audience. It's kind of like Kickstarter but instead of funding one project, Patreon is an ongoing effort where patrons opt in at "X" amount of dollars a month to support creators in their ever day work.  This great news for creators and independent artists because it smooths out and otherwise sporadic, if not unreliable, income base that most creators experience. So, if you're an independent artist or content creator, you may want to check out Patreon as a possible avenue for your work. For patrons, it can raise some question like:

"This sounds great but isn't it a bit like online begging?"

If a creator works things right on their profile page then, no, it wouldn't be online begging. The reason why are the rewards that patrons get for their money. These rewards can vary greatly but ultimately, it's up to the patron to decide if they are worth contributing to. This is where the term ROI comes into play. For those of you who are not really into economic speak ROI is "return on investment." There is considerable investment on both sides. From an creator's standpoint, the investment is time, effort and thought that goes into making a viable package that hopefully appeals to potential patrons. It's also the time and effort into making doable deliverables (i.e. music downloads, high quality photos, helpful blog posts, tutorials that help patrons, etc).  From a patron standpoint, those deliverables have to be worth it and on time if a timeline is specified. If a creator can't deliver then they run the risk of losing patrons and gaining a bad reputation. The end game is that creators and patrons work together in bringing more art into a world that can definitely use it. This is especially vital now in a world that is changing so fast and can be very stressful. 

I've been on Patreon now for almost two years and have learned some valuable lessons, the biggest of which is maintaining a consistency. I admit that I am not the most consistent or willing marketer of my wares on the planet but getting a patron here and losing a patron there has taught me that being consistent in getting content out there and letting people know about it is vital to success. With that said, I've been taking some time to focus on narrowing things down to a few avenues to bring in a more consistent income with the music I make and I've chosen Patreon as one of those avenues. This is because it gives me a different way of getting the music out there. For example, the "traditional" way of buying music has been through either purchasing a CD at performances or online or downloading albums on the web. The way I've worked Patreon however, is for $5 a month, patrons who have signed up can download a new song each week. Just prior to releasing these songs, I will put out a video of the piece in my patron feed so patrons can hear it. It's simple and easy and folks who have signed up can get the music before it's available anywhere else. If you can't afford $5 a month then I also have a $1 a month tier where you get featured videos, tutorials on making music, photos and blog posts on didgeridoo, composition, creating musical content and more (the $5 a month tier gets all this too plus the weekly downloads).  Patrons can adjust their contribution to fit their budget and can opt out any time.

I have no idea if this strategy will work. It all depends on how all of you like to get their music. I know some of you will really be into this and some of you would rather buy a CD or a download. But it's one more way of getting the music out there. The pledges I receive from Patreon has so far have helped to maintain a web presence but I would like to do much more. Some of my goals are to purchase musical instruments for ever expanding creative ideas, upgrade equipment to bring better quality sound to album production and to grow my audience through email, ad purchases and memberships. down the road, I would love to start creating multi-media events with a message. More on that later. All of this leads up to to the end game of putting the best quality music I can out there to help make this a better and happier world for you, my audience. I know it sounds a little cheesy but this is my ultimate ROI. As an independent artist, I can't really think of any better way to  be of service. 

Thank you so much for reading this. I know it was a long haul but I hope you find this information helpful either as a supporter or as a creator. I'm grateful to those of you who have signed up already or who have found other ways of supporting the work I do. I seriously couldn't do the work without that support so thank you, thank you, thank you! I really appreciate it! 

If you want to check out my Patreon page you can do so by clicking here or the Patreon logo above. If you found this article helpful or if you have any other questions , send me an email at and let me know. 

Many thanks and take care Everyone! Peace!

Your Didge Servant, Pam

Embarking on New Musical Journeys

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Every musician goes through changes in their career and I'm no exception. I've been playing didgeridoo now for over 12 years which is really not that long considering how far I've come. But there is a new (or not so new) love on the horizon to go hand in hand with didgeridoo. Chanting. I've listened to chanting now for a few years and have grown to love the art of singing love-based mantras and songs of peace. I'm by no means quitting didgeridoo but rather adding to my repertoire as an artist.

I have Tim Feetham to thank for this. Tim and I made a CD together about four years ago called Journey Inward: the Practice Sessions. Since then, Tim has gently persuaded me to start singing more to add my voice to a growing number of artists who are in the chant world. I've been reluctant until I started hearing from other people as well that they would like to hear more of my voice so, I'm starting to sing more and finding my way through the chant world with mantras based on peace, collaboration and harmony. The take away for me has been a deepening appreciation for what I can do and what I can give. I've been finding a peace in myself that i haven't known for a very long time. To be able to bring that out in music means a lot to me. I'm in deep gratitude for this rediscovery. Where this road leads to I'm not sure yet but it doesn't really matter because you can bet sure that I will enjoy the journey. 

To lead all of this off, I would like to give to you the Green Tara chant that I recorded a few months back. Relax, breathe it in and enjoy. Thank you!


Six Tips for (a bit more) Stress Free Practice

This post was originally posted on Patreon for the patrons that support the work I do. If you would like to learn more or if you would like to become a supporter you can follow this link. You have my eternal thanks!

So what do you think of when I say the word practice? Does it make you scrunch your upper lip up in dread or does it thrill you with the chase? In, talking with so many adults and even some kids about practice, many tend to share with me a certain visions of sweat, blood, slaving and slogging through material or a technique. While there is always some degree of discipline and putting in the time, there are ways to make practice a bit more manageable. Here are six things you can do to help make your practice a bit more stress free. 

1. Don’t Worry – If you don’t get the material or technique down today, don’t sweat it. You may get it tomorrow or the next day so don’t worry about what you don’t get and simply focus on what you do get. Just trust your baby steps and remember that Divine Order is crazy like a fox and everything works out. 

2. Give Yourself Permission to be a Beginner – This is an especially  hard one for adults because we are so conditioned to get it right simply because we're older and "should" know better. Just know that this is BS. Everyone starts somewhere and even the experts are at the beginning of some level. It also helps to remember that all great masters are lifetime students......That’s what makes them masters. 

3. Give Yourself Permission to Learn – So many people expect themselves to get something right the first time but few of us are lucky enough to be instant experts. Giving yourself time to learn will, a lot of times, mean taking baby steps and that's ok. That’s all you need. Just keep breathing and you’ll get there. Oh, and don’t worry (see tip #1) about those who learn faster because it doesn’t matter because everyone learns at their own speed.

This brings me to 

4. Be Patient - 

5. Be Persistent - 

Engage in these two habits and you will have won 9/10ths of your game.  

6. Enjoy the Journey! – A.K.A. Enjoy the Ride because you won’t ever experience this moment in the same way again………ever……sorry. 

These tips are brought to you by The Learning Curve. helping humans to be their best since the dawn of time. If you have any questions, please let me know. I teach this stuff and I love helping people sort out the snags in their practice! Many thanks for reading!



P.S. - There are likely to be more tips showing up as I think of them so stay tuned! :-)

Why Didgeridoo Is Beautiful: Looking Beyond the Novelty to the Benefits

This post also appears on Patreon to honor the patrons that support the work I do. If you would to learn more about Patreon or become a supporter you can find my Patreon page by following this link Many thanks!

Last night we had the second fundraiser for the InDidjInUs Didgeridoo Gathering that will be here in Oregon in August. It felt so good to play and to be a part of a community that is open, welcoming, warm and delightful. I am blessed. I talked with a couple of the other didgeridoo players after the performances and we had a great conversation about didgeridoo and how it’s perceived here in the U.S. We agreed that from a mainstream point of view it’s a novel instrument, a curiosity that’s all at once cool, strange, awesome and out of the ordinary. This point of view of novelty has been on my mind for a long time now and is one of the things I love about didgeridoo but what comes with that is a sense that didgeridoo has something to prove before it’s fully acceptable as a viable instrument. Looking beyond the novelty to the benefits of didgeridoo can help with that acceptance so here are some things that came to mind that may help 

Didgeridoo is beautiful in so many ways. Musically, it has the capability to be an organic synthesizer, changing sounds by moving lips, tongue cheeks, or adding voice or changing air pressure, the list is long. It also has the capability of being an instrument to play songs on, to compose structured pieces on giving it a more listenable quality for those who are not as familiar with the didge. For those of you who play and want to learn more about composition you can read this article to get started. There is no reason why the didgeridoo couldn’t be a viable instrument in the musical world. It adds a lot to bands who use it and can span a wide range of feeling as a solo instrument from ambient to dance music and everything in between or as a collaborative instrument with other arts like dance or theatre. I’ve heard it played in so many different genres from death metal to jazz to classical music and much, much more. I’ve played with dancers and have seen it used in theatrical pieces where it has added an atmosphere of earthy goodness that we resonate with no matter what walk of life we come from. For an example of this Dubravko Lapaine's Tellingstories comes to mind.

I see didgeridoo as an instrument of connection between people from all walks of life. It doesn’t seem to matter where we come from, when we hear that low deep drone of didge it reaches to places in us that we didn’t know we had. It may sound esoteric to say that but when I busk or perform, I’ve watched people who have never experienced didgeridoo before or who have had little experience get so drawn in they want to know more and know where they can hear more or learn more.  They ask questions and listen intently to learn more about this instrument and when we’re done with our conversation, they leave with a smile. It’s fun to watch them walk away with a lighter step. When i see this, I feel good about the work I do.

I feel this kind of outreach is so important to the exposure of didgeridoo because it helps people reconnect with each other and with themselves in ways I haven’t seen other instruments do. All I have to do is look at my own life as an example. I’ll admit the connection I’ve made with this instrument took me completely by surprise because it was so out of the realm of my musical experience. I’ve always been a keyboard player so to have this most odd of wind instruments come waltzing into my life made me say “WHAAAAAT?” I’d never played a wind instrument before in my life until this one came along so I kept asking why this instrument? I think it’s because there was some deep learning I needed to do about myself and the way I could do it was learning how to breathe. What better way to learn to learn to breathe than to play didge? All of that oxygen getting to my brain has opened up years of stuffy, suburban mindset and blown it all away in a rhythmic song of ecstasy. I know that’s a bit poetic but there you have it. It’s one of the benefits that keeps me coming back to didgeridoo again and again. Perhaps this kind of connection is the biggest benefit of all. 

I fully believe the interest in didgeridoo is definitely there and that’s where myself and other performers, teachers and makers of this instrument come in. I enjoy talking to people about didgeridoo and showing them what it can do beyond just a drone and conveying the benefits of playing and/or listening to this crazybeautiful instrument. And I know there are a lot of other really great performers, teachers and crafters that do the same. But here’s the catch for for all of us, as much as I would love to bring the didgeridoo into the mainstream, I think it’s important that it makes the mainstream on it’s own terms.  The mainstream has a terrible habit of exploitation and didgeridoo has already fallen too far into this pit through the tourist trade. It’s far too beautiful of an instrument for that. So it’s a delicate balance and I don’t have any clear answers except to keep connecting, learning and sharing about didgeridoo in a way that's respectful and that can bring out its best qualities. This is the best way I can think of how I can do my part to help grow this community. So, with that said, it’s back to work.

Thanks for reading this.



Learn An Art: You're Never To.....

This post originally appeared in Patreon on 9 April 2017 as to honor the patrons that support the work I do. If you would to learn more or become a supporter you can find my Patreon page by following this link Many thanks!

A lot of people tell me how they feel they are too this or that to be able to learn to play music. It’s mostly “I’m too old.” The thing is, you’re never too anything to learn to play an instrument or sing. Allow me to tell a couple of stories.

The first story: One of my classmates at Cornish College for the Arts was this guy named Len. Len was an inspiration to the rest of us. He was learning how to play the viola which is NOT an easy instrument to learn (or maybe it is depending on your approach). It’s got the weirdest clef ever (for you non-musicians, the symbol that establishes where notes go on the staff) and it’s a bit larger than the violin making the reach a bit more challenging. But that didn’t deter Len. He loved playing this instrument and learned everything he could about it and music while he was at Cornish. We even played a couple of duets together at his request and he had me write a piece for his senior recital which we also played together. I love telling Len’s story because at the time he started learning viola he was 72. By the time he graduated he was 76. I remember asking him what he was going to do after graduation and he told me he had the goal of playing in community orchestras as well as for his own enjoyment. 

A second story is of a student I had a few years back who had developmental disabilities. She was learning to play the piano. In the beginning, it was extremely hard for her to hit the right key because of her motor skills but with some time, patience and persistence, she was able to play songs like Yankee Doodle (her favorite) and Wheels on the Bus without guiding her hands. To watch the joy she had in playing by herself was so beautiful. The learning went two ways on this one because what I learned from her is that it doesn't matter where you come from or what your circumstance is, you can do it. 

No one is ever too anything to learn music. The key is loving it enough to want to do it. When you love it enough, you WILL make time for it because you just want to or in some cases, need to. I’ve known people with family responsibilities, more than full time work and ageing parent responsibilities who still found time to learn and make music. For me, it’s been a necessity first to keep me out of trouble (yes, I can cause trouble) and second to express what needs to be expressed. Writing and playing music have been invaluable assets for me and I can’t think of anything better to do with my life than to make music and share it with people to hopefully encourage them to find their passions and loves. 

So what would you love to do? Learn to play an instrument? Bellydancing? Painting? Digital synthesis? All I can say is just do it. There are really rich rewards to learning an art - learning to express yourself in ways that you couldn’t otherwise, building self confidence through building skills and even things like having positive effects the brain that can help us develop to our full potential. For more on this follow this link. Or you can also read This is Your Brain on Music .

For those of you who are really wanting to dip your big toe in, I hope you find this to be encouraging and that you just go for it! If you do, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you. 

Many thanks for reading and play on!

Much Love,