Bek Coogan

Wanna Yodel with Bek Coogan..?

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What I am asking for:

Funding for the international flights to attend 3 Days of intensive and specialised Vocal/Yodelling, 31 August- 2 September, 2018 in the Friulian Mountains. Val Aupa, Dordolla, Italy, with the renowned and experienced Austrian musician, composer and passionate yodeller Ingrid Schmoliner.

Why these workshops in particular ?

Firstly, you should have seen how far my jaw dropped when I discovered them. It is the opportunity to work with Ingrid specifically, and her special approach to yodeling, in the ACTUAL mountains, that blows my mind. Finding these workshops also has helped me articulate the other, deeper reasons why I am called to Yodel.

"On the basis of different yodels, we will work on intimacy/ flexibility/resonance and personal expression with the voice, The limited number of participants (max. 8 people) guarantees an intensive encounter with a special type of singing, in a special place….More and more people are discovering yodelling for themselves, and are fascinated by its power, urgency, and naturalness. Alternating between the strong chest and belly tones, and the fine head voice has a liberating and grounding effect on the entire body." (Ingrid Schmoliener)

To do this workshop would be a dream come true. The 'yodel coma' to quote the Topp Twins is a real thing, (I'll describe this a bit more later ! - I should check in with the Topps what their version of this feels like ! ). To be able to Yodel, and learn more about yodelling and its different forms, in the mountains themselves is a pretty fierce dream goal.

Bit of a backstory, plus the chance to talk about some heroes…

Last year in May, (Thanks to Sian Torrington and Kirsty Porter), I did a solo SHEVILLE gig/performance, (with crowd participation and some local guest stars The Brazen Hussies), at the opening of the Topp Twins exhibition at Te Manawa, Palmerston North (the first opening of their current touring NZ exhibition). This sparked a very real obsession with learning how to yodel. My dream would have been to do some tribute yodeling at the show. But as I have found, it is a really hard art form. You-Tube wasn't all that helpful, and I didn't get to bust out a yodel at all. I did manage to sidle up to Jools Topp for some advice, "Jools, how do you yodel?" She said with a kind of cheeky grin, "just feel it". She must have known I'd go home and sound like a stranded bull.

Later on in a Radio National Interview I heard the Topp Twins say it actually took them about 5 years to figure out yodeling. Deeper reasons, - there are always deeper reasons…Now a year later, still trying to teach myself, I have managed to find the 'break' in my voice, and still mostly sound like a stranded bull, yet I'm feeling it more than ever.

The more I explore the voice body connection, the more I realize that there are other reasons pushing me in this direction. How do we re:connect with nature, earth, ourselves..? And what gets in the way..? And "how to consciously perceive and resonate with surrounding spaces ?" (Ingrid Schomeliner).

I attempted to explore some of these ideas last year in an open, experimental public yodeling work-shop/art performance, I ran as part of the Pyramid Club (Wgtn) P-Lab lecture series. This workshop was the very beginning and raw exploration of the relationship between, the larynx, vagina and ovaries, and sacred architecture of spaces of churches, and the not so sacred sites of neo-liberal economically influenced architecture.

What I will bring back/what I will learn…

Singing, art and performing is something that has/is always important to me, and this is a chance to learn more about forms of vocalising and roles of music that exist outside of performing. Learning itself also means teaching and sharing. I see yodelling as an educational space. We have a lot to learn from our bodies, and nature. I see this project as a commitment to future workshops, future performances, future art works, future learning, within our own special, place and space of Aotearoa.

Acknowlegdments and 'the work'…

I would like to acknowledge the vocalisng Workshops I have participated in here in Aotearoa, led by Sylvia Rands, (Ak, NZ,). Sylvia planted the ideas of the interconnectedness of the body parts in singing. These workshops have also provided the basis of body vocal work that I have been practicing with Erika Grant and others here in Wellington over the last few months.

I would be very humbled to receive support from my wider art and music, political, family, communites, either through donations or even just the act of passing on this campaign, means a lot. I am thankful also to Boosted, and look forward to being able to share the discoveries of this quest, on the Boosted platform.

Let's feel it..!

Kia ora ra !

Bek Coogan - from the flat and mighty Manawatu. 15.7.2018


  • Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?


    WOW.....I am here. The day of takeoff. ( still packing..! ). But i really felt the need to reach out and thank-you all again. Because with out your support, without you feeling this mad vision too,  i wouldnt be in this amazing position...!!!! still packing..!!!! 

    What to say..!!! What to post..!!!!

    ITs been a pretty EPIC runway ( of course- eh..). Part of the getting to yodel mission list ( there was driving to the Manawatu and Main Drain Road to get stuff done to my car to get a warrant, funny eh. Bloody warrants eh. Here is the amazing Kippy Hehir doing the work..!  For some reason this 'stoked to be hanging with Kippy in his shed' photo, sums up this morning thoughts and feelings, and the sense of bloody completion its gonna take to get on that plane. It sums up the good people and genrous help i have recieved along the way, and how that love is really in my heart.  I feel teary, from that kind of love. I also feel really stoked...!!!

    Thank-you people, you are really in my thoughts this morning. 

    I better keep moving.

    See you on the mountains.



    p.s. If you want me to take a message to the mountains for can always email me

    i promise i'll pass it on. 

    Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?
  • Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?


    OOPS dear people,

    That was an accidental tremor in the pre-take off jitters of “what if I don’t get this list done…” And “ bugger, I’ve run out of time for that list ! “The overwhelm-ment in the preperations and juggling is real, and so is the solid support and love of the people. It is pretty incredible that a coupld of months ago i actually didn't know if this was all going ot happen or not. And now it is. 

    I was actually looking for the doner list so I can start sending out the rest of my thank-you emails…They are coming.

    “Most people would be packed by now, but as we’re not most people….” (quote from my mum), yup I haven’t packed yet. Currently in Palmy, have played a gig with Gorge, and today layed some foundations for when i get back. Some awesome collaborations of the Peace and Art Activism kind, for later on in October, and a project for the Palmy Fringe, “ Meet the DEALER “ 6th -13th October. . Surely Yodelling is gonna feature..! (Even if I am still at the Bull phase heh heh ).

    BUT back to NOW…TAKE OFF IS GETTING CLOSE, this monday afternoon !!!! YEOOOW..

    So on monday, leave Wellington, fly to Sydney, then straight to Venice. A pause there for a day and a night before I take the train up into the Maunga, where I will finally get to meet Ingrid and get to the heart of this Yodelling mission. I actually can’t wait to get to the packing phase, the excitement is going to kick in for sure, and it’s a pretty special feeling knowing that all of your words, support and encouragement are coming with me.

    Thank you for the amazing help, from all directions..!  At times I have actually felt out of my comfort zone, with this amazing step of faith. I’ll admit there was a day last week I was trembling like a lamb. I take it all as a good sign. I feel humbled and bloody lucky…!!! May the yodel be DEEP…!! Looking forward to getting into that total focused zone, when the jobs are done, and when that plane take-off comes. Art. Deep and Real thanks people. 

    X Bek 25.8.18 ( full moon, Manawatu )

  • Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?


    Wow...! Aroha nui..!! OOSH..!! 

    Here i am in thel last hour, of this phase of the journey, I

     "Just dropped In ( To See What Condition My Condition Was In) " (M. Newbury)

    150% is an amazing CONDITION..! Cosmic Condition..! 

    WOW.  i FEEL the love and the support. Thank-you so much for the extra donatons that have kept coming in, they are so helpful for the other costs for this YODEL Quest. This has been a profound experience. It still doesn't actually feel real, which is actually a great thing, because it means a dream is actually coming true -  THANKS TO YOUSE !!!  Also it is so amazing to have you all on the journey with me, thank-you for this incredible blessed feeling. In the odd stressy moments over the last week or two, getting stuff organised etc, in this great step into the unknown, I have just remembered all of your messages, and validation, and just held it close. You've all been great psychic muscle in helping tick off that 10 days till take-off, expandng mother of lists. Tonight  the Palmy rain is drumming down, adding to the blessed feeling. WE DID IT....... THANK-YOU..!!!
    Ngā mihi nui ki a koe. More updates to come. xx

    17. 8. !8 .

  • Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?


    UPDATE 13 Days to Go..


    Dear Yodel Dream People

    We've done it..! - AND STILL DOING IT..!!

    The donations are still coming in ! so thank-you heaps. Overwhelming for sure.

    Your belief in this project, your validation, your support, donations and messages, mean so much. Thanks for making this all so real (and a bit surreal..!!! ).

    Initially I felt like I could only ask for the minimum, ie the flights...( $2,800). After doing some budgets, I realise that the support that keeps coming in is actually amazing and very needed... It will be going towards accommodation when I land, internal travel, and the Workshop/accomodation fee (450 EURO). It will also be going towards being able to stay at the Workshop place a little longer, to get some extra tuition from Ingrid. (Another 150-200euro-ish).

    Like my budget advisor who happens to be called Gemma says..."Goddess it is going to be amazing, but you need more money!" So the fact that we are actually going over the original target is bloody awesome...!!! And if you know somebody who wanted to help but "missed out" - they haven't really missed out. Keep climbing that money maunga with me!!

    Every little bit, no matter how big or small... will be put to good use... for safe travelling and good future yodelling, there and HERE..!!!

    So now, thanks to your endorsements of More Art Yodelling in NZ, and me Bek Coogan as one of the Art representatives from the Flat Plains of the Manawatu, I am in the process of doing something that means a heck of a lot to me, for lots of different reasons. It is a dream coming true....AND yesterday I booked the flights..!! So it. is. happening. Deep.

    Yours with gratitude, love and respect...!!

    Bek Coogan. 2.8.18. (Wadestown, Wellington, at the foot of Te Ahumairangi )

  • Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?


    Kia ora Yodel supporters..!! Wow…!!

    and like Jason Muir says. OOOOSH. 

    (He cuts really good mullets if anyone needs one ). 

    You are ALL INSANELY EPIC !!!! This is truly epic ( I’m gonna have to say that twice ), and really touching and amazing to be on the other side of 100% in such a short time. Even just to be on the other side of it is a dream come true, but you all kind of made it a bit more epic. (I’ll say it 3 times ). This time last week, I was convinced and feeling the importance of this project on a deep personal level, but I was also feeling pretty scared, and a bit doubtful about putting it out there in this kind of way, the crowd funding way. But far out…THE CALL CAME BACK..!!!, and the dream is real. The response and the love and the support, and the words you have given, have been really special and treasured. To all of the actions, the likes, the shares on facebook, or just spreading of  the word, to the blessings of  donations! Thank-you. Thank ypu so much  for coming on this epic journey with me. I’ve decided to keep it open until it actually ends, so those that got caught out by the yodel love wave, ( that you all are ), still have the option of donating.

    Full Moon blessings - ( actual coincidence ! ). Ngã mihi, AROHA…!!!

    DEEEP. Really feeling it now. 

    Wanna Yodel With Bek Coogan ?