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  • Maren Van Nostrand

Into the Energy of the Center

In my youth, I spent countless hours perfecting just a few piano pieces for what felt like endless recitals, and some contests, too. Although I did pretty well, I also felt like a nervous wreck as the judges and audiences listened. I longed for less formality, and more flexibility, in what and how I played. I know I wasn't alone. With the help of technology, it seems as though music has become more and more about perfection, and about show-casing or selling the perfect sound, than about sharing sound. People tend to “go” to a show, or “watch” a program online, rather than simply hang out in their living rooms and just "play", as in the true essence of "to play an instrument." So many people I know don't sing, play, or read in front of others because somewhere along the line in their lifetime something led them to believe that they weren't good enough.

At Soundfalls, we’re reversing this trend by offering one of the best and most time-tested environments for helping people harvest their inner creativity, voice, and if they're doing music, sound. It's the Circle. We don’t worry about perfection except to say that we believe that the beautiful imperfection of the organic process of sharing is naturally perfect.

At Soundfalls, we gather in groups of 5 to 20 people to create real moments in real time. We show up just as we are, and as we take turns sharing, everyone is equally supported. The energy focuses on each person's intentions and not on how "well" each person does according old culturally-restrictive standards, and toward the center of the room and not toward the person sharing. That way we are all of the same body, like the spokes on a wheel all moving in the same direction, that of kindness, hope, and the recognition that we're all in this life together. In the process, greater unseen forces come into play which combine to create unforgettable community moments. Ultimately, we are lifted out of any categories that have been binding or defining us, and carried into a new realm of connection and possibility.

At Soundfalls, our mission is to help people rediscover and celebrate the sometimes hidden yet infinite flow of knowledge and creativity that surfaces when we gather and share in circle.

At Soundfalls, everyone who walks in the door is welcome, both new and familiar, as long as we arrive with an open mind and heart!

As part of all of our gatherings, we also honor and acknowledge the people who originally gathered and still gather on the land underneath us. Our current gathering place is of the Snoqualmie and Tulalip peoples whose homelands span the entire Snoqualmie Valley in both eastern King and Snohomish counties. They are part of the larger, Coast Salish Lushootseed-speaking community of the Pacific Northwest Coast. We feel lucky to be keepers of the some of the land for now, and will continue to be mindful of our energy and minimal with our impact.

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