WHY ‘REFUGEE’

My world was blown open in summer 2016 while volunteering at Calais Jungle refugee camp in France. I woke to culture and language completely beyond my understanding, and also the simple power of humans making beauty together – from nothing. It’s an honor to be with people when they have a life-or-death need for ‘perspective’ – that perspective mostly gotten through tenacity, openness and wit. Through these people who had become refugees, I understood how deeply connected we billions of humans are, and how little we may know of each other.

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I walked in fear for the first hours in the Calais Jungle – could I be chewed up by the sharp-eyed need and anger I’d heard about? Being with my EAR (Expressive Arts Refuge) team showed me how to invite trust – mostly through music – while guiding ourselves through conflict. We shared some time in the Jungle with The (London-based) Calais Sessions, who produced an incredible, award-winning album collaborating with refugee musicians. Their project – a combination of expert professional music recording, musical arranging and generous camaraderie – affected me deeply. When this song, ‘REFUGEE’ came tumbling out of me, I knew I would reach out to them to be part of it. Similarly, it became clear that my old friends Leah and Chloe Smith, of Rising Appalachia were perfect, fierce voices to bring in.

My song, REFUGEE is about feeling bereft and misunderstood. We are all much closer to being refugees than we want to imagine. Realizing this may remind us of our humanity – especially those of us who have relatively plenty. Lately, ‘Refugee’ is the only song I feel like singing – mostly because of the raw, calling voice it asks of me, and its un-sentimental plea for compassion. I have some hope that a resolute song can touch our hearts and change us.

The video of REFUGEE came from hearing first-hand stories of unbelievable journeys. These were journeys across enormous distances and danger – mostly by walking and by boat – in many cases alone. It also came from watching young men and women grapple with belonging and self expression in the tense, dangerous limbo of the refugee camps. It also came from watching my new friends – who were left with so little – give everything – especially of their hearts. You hear about this, but to experience it first hand…changes everything that comes after.

This year, in the Greek Skaramagas Refugee Camp, I walked with greater confidence into sharing songs with Syrian, Kurdish, Afghani and Iraqi kids and meeting the musicians in the camp who were refugees also. I felt again how our little songs and lessons, hugs and even moments of disciplining slowly built a cautious trust in all of us – and a willingness to let wildness and joy peer through the anxiety and suffering.

  

Link to Online
Press Kit

Buy the Single
via BandCamp
All Proceeds benefit UN High Commissioner for Refugees
 

Buy the Single
via CD Baby
FULL ALBUM AVAILABLE SOON
 

Buy “Refugee”
Sheet Music

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30 May 2017

CA Folklife Tour + Premiere @ Disney Hall + LA Concerts + Summer Festivals

Hello!  It’s softest green and birdsong here in Vermont. I’ve enjoyed landing here into family and new beginnings.  Next week I begin 3 months of musical travels.  A month in my beloved California, a month around the U.S. and Canada, then to the Skaramagas Refugee Camp in Greece to volunteer and teach.  I’ll be with VOCO, Jayme Stone’s Folklife, The...
23 March 2017

Folklife CD Release Tour!!

Music for YOU this & next week in MI,IL,WI,MN,IA,NJ,NY,CT,VT,MA    Hello there! Tour these next two weeks to MI,IL,WI,MN,IA,NJ,NY,CT,VT and MA!  (and on into 2017) Last night the Folklife Project began our CD Release Tour! Led by my friend, the ‘Yo Yo Ma of the banjo’, Jayme Stone, this tour’s concerts feature the twelve new songs – musical heirlooms – from our...

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Wonderful World of Song: Harmony, Vocal Color and Movement for Everyone
Moira travels the world-wide network of choral music to create joyous, deeply musical singing experiences. She has traveled and listened widely, and has always been drawn back to the power of the folksong, body percussion and harmony. Moira's articulate and gentle approach will have you singing with full breath & relaxation, and your ear sharpened for style & timbre! Moira quickly gets a group singing by ear as well as by music reading - you will experience four-part harmony, singing in other languages, improvising and moving. [; Repertoire from folk / new music of: Eastern Europe, Appalachia, Americana, Irish/Scots, Moira's compositions ];
You do not need to prepare in advance - just come with open ears and your voice, in whatever shape you find it!!
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Your Wild and Colorful Voice: A Workshop with Moira Smiley

February 4, 2017, 10:00am - February 4, 2017, 10:00am

Wonderful World of Song: Harmony, Vocal Color and Movement for Everyone Moira travels the world-wide network of choral music to create joyous, deeply musical singing experiences. She has traveled and listened widely, and has always been drawn back to the power of the folksong, body percussion and harmony. Moira's articulate and gentle approach will have you singing with full breath & relaxation, and your ear sharpened for style & timbre! Moira quickly gets a group singing by ear as well as by music reading - you will experience four-part harmony, singing in other languages, improvising and moving. [; Repertoire from folk / new music of: Eastern Europe, Appalachia, Americana, Irish/Scots, Moira's compositions ]; You do not need to prepare in advance - just come with open ears and your voice, in whatever shape you find it!!

Albums

  • Laughter Out of Tearsicon-downloadicon-download
    1. Dream Intro // moira smiley & VOCO
    2. Visa Fran Jarna // moira smiley & VOCO
    3. Chilly Winds // moira smiley & VOCO
    4. North Country // moira smiley & VOCO
    5. I Live in California // moira smiley & VOCO
    6. Mazurka // moira smiley & VOCO
    7. Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind // moira smiley & VOCO
    8. Dream Dve Nevesti // moira smiley & VOCO
    9. Deportee // moira smiley & VOCO
    10. Oj Jabuko // moira smiley & VOCO
    11. Oj Savice // moira smiley & VOCO
    12. Oh Winter // moira smiley & VOCO
    13. Orphan Girl // moira smiley & VOCO
    14. Whistle Daughter Whistle // moira smiley & VOCO
    15. Steam Engines // moira smiley & VOCO
    16. They’re Red Hot // moira smiley & VOCO
    17. Dream Outro // moira smiley & VOCO
  • circle, square, diamond and flagicon-downloadicon-download
    1. Carolina Pines
    2. Bring Me Little Water, Silvy
    3. Garden Hymn
    4. Return My Soul
    5. The Cuckoo
    6. Parting Friends // moira smiley & VOCO
    7. Wondrous Love
    8. Africa
    9. Stand in That River // moira smiley & VOCO
  • small worldsicon-downloadicon-download
    1. Zelena (Green Mikrokosmos) // moira smiley & VOCO
    2. Izgrejala (Gel Moma) // moira smiley & VOCO
    3. Makedonska // moira smiley & VOCO
    4. Summer Has Come // moira smiley & VOCO
    5. Silverlake // moira smiley & VOCO
    6. Szerelem // moira smiley & VOCO
    7. Out of A Child // moira smiley & VOCO
    8. Siberia’s Snows (Russia) // moira smiley & VOCO
    9. The Hat // moira smiley & VOCO
    10. Rano (Early Morn’ Mikrokosmos) // moira smiley & VOCO
  • blinkicon-downloadicon-download
    1. Al Proci // moira smiley & VOCO
    2. Utopia // moira smiley & VOCO
    3. Esik Eso // moira smiley & VOCO
    4. Our Time / Shout // moira smiley & VOCO
    5. Katie Cruel // moira smiley & VOCO
    6. Stand in That River // moira smiley & VOCO
    7. Dance S’loyfn, S’yogn
    8. Bartok #148 // moira smiley & VOCO
    9. Dying Californian // moira smiley & VOCO
    10. Firecracker Girl // moira smiley & VOCO
    11. Tryptophan Hand Jive // moira smiley & VOCO
    12. Deep Blue // moira smiley & VOCO
    13. I Live in California // moira smiley & VOCO
    14. How Can I Cry // moira smiley & VOCO
    15. The Boat BP // moira smiley & VOCO
    16. Long Time Travelin’ // moira smiley & VOCO
    17. A Sto Cemo // moira smiley & VOCO
  • ruaicon-downloadicon-download
    1. House That Jack Built // moira smiley
    2. Hawk and Crow / Monaghan Twig // moira smiley
    3. Donal Og // moira smiley
    4. Stand in That River // moira smiley
    5. A Man Was Born // moira smiley
    6. Charlie Piggot’s / Sporting Pitchfork // moira smiley
    7. Katie Cruel // moira smiley
    8. Queen Jane // moira smiley
    9. Grey Shore // moira smiley
    10. Parting Glass // moira smiley
  • changing woman
    1. Winter: Opening Snake Song
    2. Winter: Snow
    3. Winter: Trees
    4. Winter: Maskes And Echoes
    5. Winter: Sage Woman’s Dance
    6. Winter: Snake Song
    7. Spring: Spring Snake Song
    8. Spring: The Thawing
    9. Winter: Mirror Play
    10. Spring: Playground
    11. Spring: Cage Music
    12. Spring: Resolution Snake Song
    13. Summer: Earthly Light
    14. Summer: Poem To The Mother
    15. Summer: Summer Sultry
    16. Summer: Mama Hey
    17. Fall: Our Time Is Near
    18. Fall: Song Of An Initiate
    19. Fall: Tres Morillas
    20. Fall: Final Snake Song

Latest Videos

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Live in Concert!
Dream Intro // moira smiley & VOCO
icon-downloadicon-download
  1. Dream Intro // moira smiley & VOCO
  2. Visa Fran Jarna // moira smiley & VOCO
  3. Chilly Winds // moira smiley & VOCO
  4. North Country // moira smiley & VOCO
  5. I Live in California // moira smiley & VOCO
  6. Mazurka // moira smiley & VOCO
  7. Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind // moira smiley & VOCO
  8. Dream Dve Nevesti // moira smiley & VOCO
  9. Deportee // moira smiley & VOCO
  10. Oj Jabuko // moira smiley & VOCO
  11. Oj Savice // moira smiley & VOCO
  12. Oh Winter // moira smiley & VOCO
  13. Orphan Girl // moira smiley & VOCO
  14. Whistle Daughter Whistle // moira smiley & VOCO
  15. Steam Engines // moira smiley & VOCO
  16. They’re Red Hot // moira smiley & VOCO
  17. Dream Outro // moira smiley & VOCO