River & Circle
I have had numerous requests over the years to do a solo Native flute recording and this is it. As the project started to come together in my imagination, it became clear to me that if I was going to do a solo recording, it would really be a solo flute recording and pretty old school at that. I wanted to let the focus be on the flutes and the songs themselves. The aim was for the songs to sound "in the moment" and the flutes to sound as natural and unprocessed as possible. As though the listener is out walking in the woods and happens upon a lone flute player trying out some tunes. Every track was done in a single take with no edits. In fact, the entire project was recorded in one tracking session. Many of the songs have improvisational elements even if they are not completely improvised. Every song is for solo Native flute. No overdubs or multi-tracking. I decided not to use what I have come to think of as "novelty" flutes - Native flutes with extreme ranges (no itty bitty high flutes, no enormous sub-bass flutes), no drones or multi-chamber flutes of any kind. No alternate fingering systems either (although that doesn't mean just "basic scale"). All of my flutes are made from indigenous materials, mostly cedar and river cane, so there are not even any exotic woods involved here. All the experiments are enjoyable. Some of them are even worthwhile and produce usable instruments. But in the end, we all live in the core sounds of those amazing mid-range cedar and cane Native sticks which, for my ears anyway, produce the most beautiful flute sounds on the planet. So these are the songs I was playing on some of my favorite flutes in the summer of 2011 and this is the way they sounded the day we set up at Mobtown Studios in Baltimore.