New sound circle group starts Wednesday in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — You already have a glorious instrument to bring to this week’s sound circle, Vickie Dodd promises.

A sound therapist and author who lives in Port Angeles — and who works with singers and other performers across the United States and Europe — Dodd is inviting community members to a new monthly sound circle at Studio Bob, the upstairs art space at 118 ½ E. Front St. The first session will start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Own instrument

“You are your instrument,” Dodd said, referring to the body as the sources of the vocalization known as sounding.

Sounding is like singing or chanting, only different and deeper.

For more than four decades, Dodd has been teaching people this modality, which uses breath and nonverbal sounds, to help people feel freer.

“Mainly we sound because it makes us feel better,” she wrote in an e-mail from Bern, Switzerland, where she was teaching last week.

“There are all kinds of physical changes that occur as the result of sounding/vocalizing, but we really do not need to know them as we get the immediate experience of feeling easier in ourselves.

“I have witnessed this happening thousands of times in the past 40 or more years,” Dodd added.

“Sound is so wonderful and very forgiving. There is no ‘right’ way and you cannot ‘sound wrong.'”

In Port Angeles, Dodd will host the sound circle with friends Marlene Lesh, Beatriz Giraldo and Jackson Smart once a month and ask for a donation of $3 to $5 per session.

That’s quite a contrast with Dodd’s workshops. Her June 2011 course at Lake Crescent, for example, is priced at $995 to $1,250.

Dodd said her Port Angeles sessions are her gift to her community, a chance for people to get together and benefit from the release sounding can provide.

‘Release fears’

“These days, we can use as many opportunities as possible to release fears and concerns and to remember connection with each other . . . I see our sound circle as having the potential for a monthly rejuvenating gathering,” like the community drum circles held each month at the Longhouse of Learning at Peninsula College.

For details about the drum circles, which are open to everyone regardless of drumming experience, phone 360-461-5188 or e-mail [email protected]

As for the sound circle, no special equipment is necessary, and “we need not know how to do it,” Dodd said.

“Just show up with a willingness to try, or to listen and try later.”

In each session, participants will have a chance to “clear and tune,” she added.

‘Body an orchestra’

“If we envision our body as a orchestra, and let’s say the violin section needs to be tuned; there is too much tension on the strings and it creates an unrest, a dissonance throughout the orchestra.

“When we sound or sing, our voices create a wave response, a resonance vibration throughout our bodies.

“This vibration helps the ‘violin strings’ find the right tension,” Dodd said.

You don’t have to know how to tune — you just need to hum, and the vibration works.

“Our body,” Dodd said, “is 65 [percent] to 75 percent liquid . . . What happens in living is our liquidity can become thickened, viscous; especially with age, with trauma physically or emotionally, injuries, medications.”

Sounding — humming, using simple exercises with vowels — can create healing waves in this liquid, she said.

So sounding helps people breathe easier while stimulating circulation, like an inner aerobic exercise, according to Dodd.

Carleen Godwin, a licensed massage practitioner, has taken sounding and movement classes with Dodd in Port Angeles.

One of the best parts of sounding, she said, is the vibration created in the body.

“It almost sounds aboriginal,” Godwin added.

To learn more about sounding and Dodd’s books, recordings and events, visit www.SacredSound School.com, e-mail [email protected] or phone 360-452-5922.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at [email protected]

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