Earlier this year I was part of the SCANZ Te Mahia residency in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was organised by fellow Intercreate Trustee Jo Tito and designer and Te Mahia iwi Desna Whaanga-Schollum.

It was an inspiring time for process and sharing ideas. A number of collaborations have emerged from this residency including sharing some rune work and ceremony with Terangi Roimata Kutia-Tataurangi, which was a wonderful experience of learning and sharing.

Another interesting collaboration which is emerging is with Josiah Jordan (CTO Lobaki), who is doing amazing things with Virtual Reality and developing apps – including one which creates music from your DNA. Josiah and I saw that there were some great synergies with technologies as well as some of the thematic, storytelling interests we are both drawn to. At that point we agreed to expand on the Waters of the Past project to bring in some of these elements.

Here is a video about a great project Lobaki are working on in Mississippi:

The process
Over the past few months I have been collecting audio samples of Ancient Viking and Celtic instruments – these will be overlaid over my DNA patterns. I need to ask Josiah more details on the technical side of this as I am very much a learner. In short, the DNA patterns create the actual notes played by the instrument samples. 

Although my focus on my family research has been my Norwegian line, I had no idea what would come back in my DNA test. I was pleasantly surprised with the strong connection to Scandinavia with the results.

DNA from Ancestry
DNA from Ancestry

One of the reasons I find this so interesting is the fact that on paper my family tree going back 5 generations only had the one line from Norway. I suspect my ancestors from Yorkshire might have also contributed to this percentage. As a child, it was this line that interested me though – the other bits I considered boring lol!

Next week I will be heading back to Norway to spend a longer chunk of time doing some research. My research will fan across a number of areas – genealogy, creative development and also learning more about sustainability programs in Scandinavia. I hope it will be a great time for learning and exploring.

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