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Genres You Will Love
World: World Beat World: World Fusion World: Australian World: Middle East Contemporary Moods: Type: Instrumental

By Location
United States - Oregon United States - Washington

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Pamela Mortensen

"The journey of a musician often begins with the lighting of a fire inside which then manifests itself in sound. It's then that the musician becomes the conduit for which the connection to the Kosmos can come through. Often times, the musical instrument chooses the musician to be the tool they can use to produce this sound......And sometimes, that musical instrument can be something very unexpected."

Pamela Mortensen

Award winning musician, Pamela Mortensen has had a long and colorful career in music that began at the age of six with the organ. This first love led her to a lifetime exploration of sound synthesis, playing keyboards, singing, and composition. Early in her career, she performed in competitions winning a Distinguished Performance Award in the Yamaha Electone Organ Festival at the age of 17. For a time it seemed that she was destined for a career in keyboard

Then in 2005, everything changed when she found her way to didgeridoo. This seemingly simple instrument inspired a completely new path of exploration in sound for Pamela through hearing an early recording called Rainbow Serpent made by Aboriginal artist David Hudson. Since then, she has embarked on bringing the didgeridoo and it’s haunting sound to more of the mainstream music through busking, performance, recording and teaching. Seeing the didgeridoo as an organic synthesizer, she weaves voice, diaphragm, intricate Middle Eastern, Scandinavian and tribal rhythms with urban beats and ambient atmosphere to develop a powerful and dynamic sound. Pamela's musicality and her skills as a composer shine thought on an instrument that is not easy to compose for. She wraps everything up with an occasional sense of humor to complete the picture of a well-seasoned musician.

She is one of the handful of women in the world who perform, record and build professionally. She has performed and presented workshops all over the Western United States and British Columbia, Canada and regarded as one of the best loved performers of didgeridoo in the U.S. Her devotion and passion for this instrument is infectious and reflects her deep love for making music.

"Making music for me is a way of exploring the non physical world and bring it to the physical world through technique, artistry and practice. As the music flows out through me, I share it to help bring a connection with others in a world where so much change is happening."

In addition to being a solo artist, she has also collaborated with many other artists including Egyptian tabla player George Sedak, the ambient trance band Cittaflow, tribal dance electronic musician DJ French Connection, the extraordinary hand drummer Alexandra Be, the ethnic inspired music ensemble Sacred Fire Flute Ensemble, the chant trance band Vasudeva and video artist and poet VJ Tasara. The latter has resulted in the mesmerizing show of sound and light Speaking from Spaces in 2009. Her music has also been featured in the independent fantasy film The Otherworld directed and produced by Gisela Pereira

She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 1996 with a degree in composition and hes gone on to record solo albums as well as appearing as a guest artist for a variety of recordings. Her solo career has taken her on tours throughout the Western U.S. and Canada bringing her art to stage and streets through busking (street performing). She is also an award winning artist garnering the Seattle Artists Award from the Seattle Arts Commission in 1997 and 1999, Yamaha's Recording Artist Award in 2004 and ASCAP's New Artist Award for World Music in 2005. Pamela currently resides on the Oregon Coast and continues her personal evolution of didgeridoo playing, crafting, teaching and recording.

I am deeply grateful to the First Peoples of Australia and more specifically, the Yolgnu tribe of Northeast Arnhemland for their willingness to share this instrument as a means of bridging an understanding of their culture, their strengths, their struggles and ultimately their resilience. If it wasn’t for this willingness, I would not be able to do the work I’m doing. Our Aboriginal brothers and sisters have endured and continue to endure so much hardship and struggle. Their struggle is a microcosm of a struggle worldwide with issues of injustice, oppression and persecution. It is my vision that sharing this instrument in the way I do, can at least help in further bridge all of our peoples together for a better future. Thank you for sharing this beautiful instrument!