Posts Tagged John Stillwell

Man’s Best Friend?

Seeking inspiration from the sacred wood block of the Yucatan.

Strong Medicine

Actually, it may be 41 albums — I’m sure that have lost count. But it has been at least 40 albums in-the-making since Peruvian shaman, Don Francisco hit me on the head with his hefty medicine bundle while transferring to me the 9th Incan Rite-of-Passage (the Creator Rites).

Shortly after that, master flutemaker, John Stillwell appeared in front of me out of nowhere in the Mojave Desert and something like this:

“Hey, Man … take these two flutes. I want you to have them. Pay me — don’t pay me — it’s up to you!”

Don Francisco

I accepted the flutes and embarked on a magnificent flute and recording journey that continues to this day.

Notes To Myself on Following the Muse

Becoming a recording artist in the middle of life has been mysterious. But even more surprising is the range of the comments that I receive on the music that I publish. (I don’t take a lot of credit for the music – most of the time, I cannot technically play what I hear in my mind’s ear).

I think that I am beginning to understand what pianist Helen Jane Long meant when she responded to a question during a radio interview about what her compositions meant. I paraphrase:

” …. I’ll let the listeners decide what the song’s meaning is. What I was thinking at the time that I wrote it might unduly influence the listener’s experience.”

So, too (in the receiving direction), the comments and interpretations that I receive seem to depend on the mood and circumstance of the listener. My Mother, for example, may have completely different (and sometimes opposite) feedback on the same song at different times.

So, over the years (for my own amusement and improvement — and with a light heart), I have attempted to categorize the type and source of feedback that I typically get after each album. I have also tried to recognize any patterns. But so far they have eluded me. Here is a sample categorization:

Source Comment
Mother “Too Frenetic, but I am your No. 1 fan!”
Son “I’ll be sure to not operate any heavy machinery or drive while listening to your albums. By the way, why [when I listen] do I suddenly feel the urge to be in the nude and to wear healing crystals?”
Brother “Are you ever going to get a real job, or are you just going to keep playing that ‘beaver medicine’?”
Sister 1 “When I try to listen to one of your albums in the [health food] store, somebody buys it. I’ve tried three times today! Will you send me a personal copy?”
Sister 2 “Oh, you mean you have albums out? I didn’t know that!”
Closest Friend
“Whatever …. “
New Age Fan “When are you going to do an album with just plain flute?”
Old Age Fan “Just take the flute out of it — and it will be perfect”
Fellow Musicians “Very … interesting.”
Law Enforcement “Step over here, Genius”
My Dog “Fantastic!. The best that I’ve ever heard!  No … really!”

 

Really … the best that I’ve ever heard!”

The Next Album

“Let It Happen”

Is it any surprise, therefore that the next project has the working title, “Let It Happen”?

‘May you walk in Beauty.’

–(a Navajo prayer)

Discography

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