Carolyn Hillyer & Nigel Shaw

Carolyn Hillyer & Nigel Shaw, Ancestral Traditions of the British Islands

Carolyn Hillyer & Nigel Shaw are renowned musicians & artists who live and work on a thousand-year-old farm in the ancient belly of Dartmoor, a mist-veiled landscape of wild hills, peat bogs and heather moors in the south-west of England. The inspiration for all their work is drawn from the raw beauty, untamed spirit and primordial memory of this ancestral land. Their creative output includes music albums and concerts, books and workshops, paintings and art installations, traditional flute and drum making.

Carolyn’s early albums (House of the Weavers, Grandmother Turtle) have come to occupy an iconic place within women’s sacred music and other recordings (Weathered Edge, Cave of Elders, Wyched Wombe) have, over three decades, defined the essence and edges of her unusual perspective on women’s spiritual journeys and ancient mythological landscape. For over 30 years she has been teaching a series of powerful workshop journeys for women that braid together ritual song, intuitive ceremony, ancient initiations and direct interaction with wild land. She is founder of Thirteen Moons women’s festival.

Nigel founded Seventh Wave Music in 1985 and over forty years has produced a profound and diverse collection of recordings. His soul-filled instrumental works and his ability to infuse his music with a powerful yearning for wild nature have come to define a unique approach to sacred sound. He is co-founder and performer with Bamboo Cedar Oak, a brotherhood of master flute players that includes Guillermo Martinez (USA) and Hiroki Okano (Japan).

Offerings at Medicine Festival:

DAWEYO KERDA: Hearth Woman Initiation.

In the ancient mother tongue DAWEYO means the woman who kindles the hearth fire, the keeper of flames, the guardian of embers and ashes. KERD is the Proto-Celtic Bronze Age word for skill or craft, journey or trail. This workshop is offered as a welcoming, inspiring and empowering circle for women to deepen their work with kindling sacred fire and sister circles. We will shape our journey together in ancient and newly-envisioned ways with the ingredients of ancient drum and sacred song, wild prayer and intuitive ritual, ceremonial totems and the magical exploration of women’s wild, wise and ancient fires. During this workshop Carolyn will share art work and mythic writings from her seminal work THE WEAVERS’ ORACLE and teach proto-Celtic songs from her book HER BONE BUNDLE. Braiding together the three themes of ancestral connection, sacred wild land and deep sisterhood.

Sacred Flute Circle & Wild Horse Herding Whistle Workshop

A chance to explore sacred breath, the craft of playing ritual wooden flutes and ancient flute mythology with this composer, performer and master flute maker. Nigel will also teach the making of traditional wild horse herding whistles using oakwood and walnut. He has been a wild pony herder on Dartmoor for nearly 30 years and uses these whistles when calling them in from the open moor.

Music performance

Visit Carolyn and Nigel’s Website