ARTIST COMMENTS

Musical Inspiration and Underlying Beliefs

The purpose of much of my work (Bright Leaf Trios, Heart Like a Wild River, The Kachina Piano Preludes), is to foster the development of musical images that have the power to transform the human perception of nature and the human interaction with nature. This view of nature serves as a metaphor to express personal experience which is universalized through the musical art.

The transformation of consciousness I am seeking, one of balance and Earth stewardship, is already apparent in the philosophy and spirituality of Native people. Although each tribe has complex and unique traditions, they hold in common recognition of the Earth as a sentient being. This is something I feel in common with them. The idea that nature is “magic”, alive, that it is infused with spirit.

The idea that the Earth and all living beings deserve respect and proper treatment is an idea Americans are slowly evolving toward. Yet the need to adopt this idea is urgent. When art supports such an idea the feelings are amplified and support can grow As the pieces are performed and discussed consciousness can grow. My vision is of concerts that are preceded and/or followed by workshops and discussions in which children and adults rehash these historical facts and come up with different solutions.

Let’s look at how this conflict between the Indians and the settlers was handled and lets come up with evolved ways to handle similar conflict in the future. Let’s progress as human beings and say… “atrocities like the Trail of Tears..

were people were removed from their homes at bayonet point…

sent on a death march across the country in the middle of winter..

not allowed to stop and bury their dead…

mothers carrying their dead babies for days, waiting for a moment in which to commend their spirits…

…atrocities like this will never happen again”.

Let’s do the creative thinking to make that happen. Art has the power to inspire and aid in human evolution.

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