Mythic Dreamer: Music For Native American Flute

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Nakai s most recent outing finds him returning once again to the simple under-produced style that he pioneered on Changes. This program includes 10 traditional tunes from the Kiowa, Lakota, Dakota, Zuni, and Cheyenne; seven of his own compositions; and Lake That Speaks, from the second movement of James DeMars s Two World Concerto. On this album the Native melodies sound forceful, almost triumphant, partially due to the short, staccato bursts that Nakai often uses to begin a melodic line--sounds that bring to mind a child s laughter or the contented chirping of a dawn bird. For the Cheyenne Victory Song and the Dakota/Lakota melody The Great Mystery Hears Me Nakai uses more sustained notes than usual, and the clear, piercing tone of his flute illuminates the heart like a ray of midday sunshine. --j. poet

Ray Carlos Nakai was born in Flagstaff, Arizona on April 16, 1946 and now resides in Tucson, Arizona. He began his musical career as a freshman at Northern Arizona University studying brass instruments and playing in the NAU marching band. In his second year, he enlisted in the US Navy with the hope of eventually playing in the Armed Forces Band.(1) He passed the highly competitive auditions for the Armed Forces School of Music and was 28th on the waiting list for admission. Playing with the Armed Forces Band became impossible, however, because an auto accident damaged his mouth, making it impossible to produce the correct embouchure to continue playing brass instruments.(2) Shortly after this accident, he was presented with a gift of a traditional Native American cedar flute and challenged to master it.

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