Hello, my name is Katou.
Here you can find the lyrics to my songs.

To listen, go to myspace.com/katherineshengmorrison or email me for a CD.
You can also send me an email if you would like to be added to my mailing list. If I record more music or give a concert, you will be informed!

Hola, me llamo Katou.
Aquí puedes encontrar las letras de mis canciones.

Para escuchar, hay canciones colgadas en myspace.com/katherineshengmorrison o me puedes escribir un correo si quieres un disco.
También me puedes escribir si te gustaría estar informado de nuevas grabaciones o conciertos.


Always happy to hear from you.
Me alegra escuchar de ti.

(Photo: Andrea Moro)

miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2011

Reflecting on the songs I sing...

I ask myself,

What purpose is the “creative action” serving?

Where does it come from? What is its origin?

And what is actually happening when it occurs?

Can I be clear & honest about this?

Folk songs are songs about folk – people.

Everyday reflections of the human experience.

I am one among many, many folk, dead, alive, & yet to be born.

And the person I am is always changing.

In a lifetime, many different selves inhabit the transforming body, in the same way that different tenants come to live in & then leave an apartment building that is in constant reconstruction, repair, & renovation.

Writing & singing songs is a way for me to process an ever-changing life. It is a kind of diary.

Each song is born out of a need to express experience.

And every song dies. The words & sounds of a song may feel true in the moment of its creation, but when a change occurs (in me or in the world around me), they may no longer reflect the new state or view.

They are subjective, and pertain to a specific time & space.

My songs are the songs of dead & dying selves – people whom I once was & am no longer, or will not be tomorrow.

Because the songs I sing come from personal experience, they are limited.

Often I feel restricted by their limitations – by their aesthetic.

I ask myself, Who is singing? The one who is making these songs is not all of “me” (which seems to just be space)… It’s a particular personality that’s living in this space…

When I open myself to music at large, or better yet, to


I feel I open the doors to freedom,

where anything is possible & will be accepted.

A folk song lives within a structure.

It’s the house that gives shelter to my personal experience,

but this house is not spacious enough to shelter ALL POSSIBLE EXPERIENCE.

The danger of singing my own diary is limiting myself – closing doors to life’s infinite possibilities. And identifying with the songs – the thoughts & feelings they convey, the quality of voice with which they are expressed, their particular sonority, mood or emotional state.

I am aware of these dangers! More than once I told myself to give up the guitar & la-la-la-ing. But the need came back! When a change occurs naturally, I will accept it. But up until now, my songs have served me & others, so I have no reason to stop something that is coming naturally.

In the act of creation, song-making & singing offers me is a way of understanding, making sense, & digesting my own life. It is a place to deposit sensory, emotional, & mental information.

When I sing for others, I open the doors to my intimate life, let it out of my mouth. When a song is new, it has a necessity. It needs to be sung. And there is something risky about it also. Because there is not yet distance between the singer & the feeling. The singer is exposing herself as she is in that moment. Dead songs don’t carry risk.

Why share songs? There is a possibility of reaching someone.

Perhaps the reflections of one person may resonate with another.

Perhaps the function of folk songs is to affirm that we are not alone.

If we listen to each other & listen to ourselves, maybe we can come to some understanding.

Empathy – to put oneself in the shoes of another.

The personal is just a standpoint.

But we can always change where we are standing.

And we will have a different view.

I believe the person & the (art)work of the person are inseparable.

How we live becomes who we are.

What is created through us reflects where we are inside.

There are many inner voices.

A song is a space for these voices to be heard.

May 31, 2011

Katherine Sheng Morrison

lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2011

Something Undying

Water, author of the undying flow

Like Mother’s rivers, you carry what will grow

From far away where eyes can’t see

To another foreign sea

What is moved has no roots

It’s pulled by a falling

It’s pulled by some calling

It’s pulled by an unquenching

Thirst at the mouth of where it first came to be

Belly turning whispers into words

Without ever promising, what is born is birthed

From under skin and underground

To the air that carries sound

It will never let you down

It’s open without end

It’s open, transparent

It’s black in the distance

The space that’s just to far away to see

Two eyes try, try, through traveling, to find

Not what can be seen, but sight

Every wonder holds it all

A breathing man or a stalk of straw

Nothing’s larger than another

We’re wells without end

We’re wells a-drinkin’

From something undying

August 2011, France
This song was written at the end of a walking pilgrimage. All around was the sound of a river, moving. Children were swinging & yelling & playing below the little stone wall where I was sitting with the guitar, green life growing all around.

The "yatra (pilgrimage) without walls" is our life. From birth to death, walking, following a lineage of evolution... Sharing this experience with others... Amidst & part of the grand mystery we call Nature, infinitely creative & innovative, renovative.

I fell asleep during one guided meditation that began with a short story about a "difficult" student. Instead of telling the child everything he was doing "wrong," the teachers decided to, one by one, say to him: "You belong." When I woke up, I opened my eyes & saw the immense sky above me. My whole body was immersed in the ground. Tears came to my eyes because I felt I belong here - in Life, on this planet, as part of the great creative process. When I looked into the eyes of others, I saw the Life in them. For me, this is the meaning of family. And home is where we are always - in the space between birth & death, before & after.

Thank you to everyone who gave their time & energy to the yatra, for your support & inspiration.


miércoles, 1 de junio de 2011

Concierto sábado 4 junio: Mini Festival Surpas

c/ Lleialtat, 6
Raval (Metro Paral·lel i Sant Antoni)

El tema del minifestival de este mes es la expresión minimalista, la necesidad natural de expresión, que nos revienta desde dentro.

Subirán al escenario la cantautora Katherine Sheng Morrison, un grupo de danza Butoh y la cantante de folk finlandesa Mirel Wagner.


miércoles, 6 de abril de 2011

Shooting (new song)

Soldiers at the borderline
Guns pointing at the moon
Body reflective,
show up my fear
to shoot
for you

Fodder for the lightfire
Gather your bodies around
Breathe me brighter
Blow, bellows
Help me grow
Help me glow

This song wouldn't exist without the fight
It's a plea
Make peace with the weak
& maybe, if the moon can't be reached,

I'll fall among the shooting stars
& sing of fire
& sing of the war
of desire

Gather your bodies around
Dancing flame,
I'll give you sound

& the shape will come
& the shape will come
& the shape will come
as I awake

Wake me

3 April 2011

Barro (¡nueva canción!)

Soy barro
no formado
esperando al torno
mirando a las formas alrededor

No soy bueno, ni malo
Escucho a las voces
emanando de las vasijas alrededor

No soy nada, pero algo
y en algo he fallado
Sólo lo rígido se puede romper

Sin meter las manos
no sucede el trabajo
que la materia puede merecer

Estoy dispuesto, me pregunto,
a coger un color,
a tomar una forma que se puede romper

Cuando se va el água
lo que deja queda
Ya no es barro

28 febrero 2011

Claimed Again (New Song!)

Falling backwards off the roof of your house,
The body reborn in a new, bloody form
I can't help but laugh & cry

Losing vision, freefall in the nowhere land
This is as close to death as I've been
Now I don't need to figure out that nothing belongs to me

No house, no body, no one
Wonderful darkness, timelessness
Ridiculous to think
Just witnessing the rich unfolding
I have been claimed again

as one of the vibrant, fragile specks in the kaleidoscope
O, great hands, keep a-turning
I heard the silence you spoke

Losing balance when my string was cut
Re-done, redeemed, reset
Give me a laugh & a drop of life
I will give you all I've got

No house, no body, no one
Wonderful darkness, timelessness
Ridiculous to think
Just witnessing the rich unfolding
I have been claimed again

But on two legs, I feel I'm strong
& in my mind, I am someone
It just takes a fall to drop it all

I walk through the box I build with thoughts
Alive with maybes & maybe nots
There's no way to tell what is real

& in my life, I have a house
I have a body & a sense of self
But the darkness will come & undress me again

& I will be claimed again

jueves, 10 de febrero de 2011

Steppe to the Prairie (Bring Your Body Back To Me)

I started chewin' on my tongue after yours left mine
I started chewin' on my tongue, unknowing, in the night

And each dry lip's an ancient plain
Waitin' and a-waitin' and a-waitin' for rain
An ocean and two bone reefs in between

Bring your body back to me
Bring your bison back to feed
Bring your yurt back to this old dirt

Bring your body back to me
Bring each lip and let each leak
Rain ocean into sea

I started chewin' on my heart after I left my mind
I started chewin' on my heart mornin', noon, and night

And each blood beat's an ancient drum
Wantin' and a-wantin' you to back come, come
A dead skin and a live skin in between

Bring your body back to me
Bring your hot stones back to heat
Bring your hand back to this old land

Bring your body back to me
Bring your tongue and let it reach mine broken
Come mend each breach

I started chewin' on my time after I lost my place
I started chewin' on my time once I slowed down the race

And each earth crack's an empty sore
Thirsty for the sky to open up and pour
Fill the long, long spaces in between

Bring your body back to me
Bring the steppe to the prairie
Bring the branches back to seed

Grow a tree o' many limbs
Light a shade o' many dims

Let the dark fall for our bodies
Let the night fall for our bodies
Let the dark night fall for our bodies

Summer 2006, Ottawa