Uummannaq Music

In the old days, the sea ice was the center of a healthy living community. Everything – food, clothing, legends, and moral values – came from the sea ice. Songs were composed and stories were told beside seals’ breathing holes. Now, as the ice vanishes, people feel that they are rapidly losing the “ground” beneath their feet.

Uummannaq Music was started in 2010 as an online project to protect and support the indigenous dog-sledding hunting culture, preserve the old traditions of Inuit music, dance and storytelling, and thereby prevent the epidemic of suicides among the region’s youth brought about by the stresses of abrupt climate and societal change.

Conceived by Joel Spiegelman, a renowned American composer, conductor and a concert pianist, and Galya Morrell, a performance artist, Uummannaq Music worked in close cooperation with Uummannaq Polar Institute and Uummannaq Children’s Home with the mission to draw global attention and international expertise to the unique music therapy program started in 1997 by Ann Andreasen and Jonna Faroe at Uummannaq Children’s Home.

Hunters, children and international artists, worked together side by side, trying to revive the spirit of the community.

It’s may be the world’s northernmost stage – the stage that is moving all the time. And it is definitely the best antidote against the depression.

Uummannaq Music is more than just “music” – it is a crosspollination of sea ice, music, theatre and art.

From Qaanaaq to Nuuk, from Venezuela to Russia, we danced, sang, composed, told stories, tried to be hopeful and survive the storms of uncertainty.


Thank you to all those who continue to support my work and occasionally are crazy enough to jump into a frozen river to see if the whole thing is real!

© Copyright 2010 Galya Morrell. All rights reserved.

                 Made by Oni Lai