Liberating your raw expressive power through voice and movement
Core Sounding™ is a model and practice for connecting to Self and Other through improvisation via voice and movement. Embedded in our bodies/minds/spirits are wild truths. We honor our bodies and nervous systems as locations of wisdom, intuition and healing. We explore what is blocked and what needs unleashing, and we practice channeling Truth through sound and movement.
We always begin with connecting to Self and move outward from there to listen in to what's alive in the Whole Space of the other individual bodies, the group body, the location, the time, the fullness of Now. We invite what is raw and unformed inside of us to express, and from there we practice shaping and forming and chiseling using our musical minds.
We practice tuning into your unique somatic experience in the present moment and expressing what is real for you via non-verbal sound and movement. We also practice listening deeper into the other humans you're sharing space with and inviting their authentic expression.
In our improvisations together, we seek connection, but connection that doesn't require suppressing our body-truth. Connection without suppression…. Sometimes it can feel as though self-expression and belonging are at odds. We fear we can't have both - that we can either express our Truth or Belong inside the group space. Through these practices, we play inside the space between these poles, and we hope to play so deeply that the poles themselves disappear.
Emotions are energy and must be honored and expressed. Here is a way to honor and express them. Through voice and movement. Together with others. What that brings up for you becomes part of the practice, the growth, the transformation.
We practice responding instead of reacting.
When we practice Core Sounding solo, we are moving between three areas of attention: Body, Essence and Form, specifically in that order.
We always begin with and return to our own body.
When we practice Core Sounding™ in a group, we are shifting awareness between these three circles, but with the added challenge (joy!) of bringing our awareness to others’ bodies and the group body.
We wonder in real-time: what do I need and how does that fit in with what the group seems to need right now? How can I shine my individual radiance out with confidence while also listening into what’s being created in the space all at once and by everyone. In this way, you could say the practice is a way of researching in real-time what it’s like to navigate the world itself - sounding and listening, sounding and listening….self and Other, self and Other…assertion and surrender, assertion and surrender….and when are the moments where it all falls away and becomes One and the Same?
And ultimately we are seeking to make music together.
What is alive in you? What wants to express itself through you?
Where did this practice come from? ...
Core Sounding™ developed organically over years. The practice naturally found its way into codification, but it has been a living practice for me, personally, and for the members of my ensemble Constellation Chor. In fact, I am beyond grateful to every single member of Constellation Chor present and past who gathered in person week after week for years as we played, explored, performed, traveled (and argued!) together. Without each of their presence, mind, and talent, I would not have been able to feel and explore these practices in real-time. What we all created together was (and still is) magic.
My gratitude is endless and forever.
It is also thanks to my many teachers and healers, but especially to my teacher Deborah Carmichael, that I had the opportunity to learn to Be With my body and nervous system and Singing-Self in a way that gave me the tools to further pursue my interests in energy movements and performance and healing and life-force itself.
I have spent (and will continue to spend) years experimenting with exercises and practices - many given to me by various teachers and many which I invented out of the need to soothe and heal my chronic pain, to express my emotions in a fulfilling and healthy way, to feel myself authentically with other people, to deal with my trauma responses and to create what feels beautiful and Alive to me.
I began reading philosophy and studying Buddhism in my teens. My worldview and practices have been significantly influenced by Anthroposophy, Jewish mysticism and Judaism, Tantra, Nature, Musical Theatre and Opera, Experimental Vocal Music and Deep Listening, and my most important lineage, the Libero Canto School of Singing which created a space for me to learn to tune into my body at the deepest and most profound level I’ve known. And of course I have personally been influenced by countless other teachers and teachings and music and bands, poets, writers, and friends and colleagues.
Some fields and practices which have come into my life more relatively recently but which I consider adjacent to or at least somewhat related to Core Sounding™ are: Circling, Somatic Experiencing, Ecstatic dance (and similar dance movements), plant medicine journeys. I've very recently heard some online coaches talking about a worldview rooted in the“Deep Feminine” and from what I understand about this, it feels very close to the soil within which Core Sounding has grown.
Image by Ri Tornello.
Abstract imagining of the Core Sounding™ model indicating the movement of attention between Body, Essence, Form.
is a practice and a model for sharing space creatively, improvising together via a process that honors the body first and foremost.
Constellation Chor & Core Sounding
Marisa's professional ensemble Constellation Chor engages Core Sounding as a practice.
Learn more about the ensemble in this video
Be the first to know about Core Sounding™ Retreats:
This workshop helped me reconnect to my voice in such a more authentic and full way. It helped get me out of a stuck pattern that I often find myself in of trying to sound pretty (which would end up feeling and sounding forced and disconnected). In this workshop I not only found the sound emerging freely but I found myself wildly surprised by what would come out of me. Being so surprised by my own expression was so incredibly nourishing and revitalizing for me as an artist and as a human. It felt like a new layer of my voice was reborn.
- Lane, Comedian, Actor
I am infinitely thankful for, and frankly astonished by, the new sense of purpose and possibility I feel in my musical life and in my work as a therapist after spending a weekend sounding, moving, being together in such radical, soul-centering ways. What a joy to be led by Marisa, whom I trust so deeply, and how profoundly refreshing to connect authentically with such a curious, genuine, playful (and often hilarious!) group of people! It felt like coming home. What a thrill, to sense so strongly that this is just the beginning!
- Alysa, Psychotherapist, Mom