Monday, January 30, 2006

Free Online Graph Paper Generator

I discovered this cool website which generates a variety of lined paper. It includes graph paper, paper for creating Celtic knots, caligraphy paper, elementary school penmenship paper and also
music staff. All of the files are available or generated as PDF's. Very cool.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mary Youngblood in Concert Feb 4th

Mary Youngblood will be in concert in my neck of the woods on Saturday, February 4, at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley at 8:00PM, tickets are $20. Don't forget to bring percussion instruments to jam along with Mary, whe always includes some audience participation during her concerts.

This should be a wonderful evening. The Center for the Arts is nice medium sized venue and every seat in the house is a good one. Check back, I'll try to coordinate a get together for coffee and dessert for NCFC members after the show somewhere in town!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

American Indian DNA project

I stumbled into an interesting topic, however I am not sure of the validity of this. So while I present it here, I am not recommending this project one way or another. If any one out there knows more about this project, add a comment or drop me line.

The American Indian DNA Project is a project dedicated to proving the heritage of Native American or American Indian through DNA testing. It uses genetic markers found through recent genetic research conducted on full-blooded native populations in North, Central and South America. They are offering free at home DNA testing kits.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

NAF Playing Tip #7: Flutter Tonguing

Flutter Tonguing is another tonguing technique and is the flute playing equivalent to “Rolling your R’s” in Spanish class. What’s happens when you produce the flutter tongue is that your tongue strikes the palate of your mouth repeatedly as the air rushes past it. Place your tongue against your palate, directly behind your top teeth. Now, slightly relax the tip of your tongue while keeping pressure with the back part of your tongue. Blow. The relaxed part of your tongue should flap up and down against your palate, sounding something like the engine on a motorboat.

NOTE: I have discovered that this technique is very difficult or even impossible for some adults to learn. The key being that if you didn’t learn to “roll your R’s” or make the “motorboat” sound with your tongue early in life, it may not be physiologically possible for you to learn this technique as an adult. Anecdotally, somewhere around 20% of my students can’t do this.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yahoo Groups Privacy Policy Warning...

Got this from an email on on of the NAF listservs:

If you belong to any yahoo Groups this is important...

"Yahoo is now using something called "Web Beacons" to track Yahoo Group users around the net and see what you're doing and where you are going --similar to cookies. Yahoo is recording every website and every groupyou visit.

Take a look at their updated privacy statement:

About half-way down the page, in the section on cookies, you will see a link that says web beacons. Click on the phrase web beacons. That will bring you to a paragraph entitled "Outside the Yahoo Network."
In this section you'll see a little "click here to opt out" link that will let you "opt-out" of their new method of snooping.
Once you have clicked that link, you are exempted. Notice the "Success" message on the top of the next page. Be careful because on that page there is a "Cancel Opt-out" button that, if clicked, will *undo** the opt-out. Feel free to forward this to other groups.

Also, please note that the opt-out is not user-specific - so you will have to opt-out on each computer and/or browser you use.

Private Flute lessons in the Bay Area and Grass Valley area

I have started teaching private lessons again and I have several new students. I am typically in the bay area on Tue/Wed/Thur evenings.
I am also available for lessons in the Grass Valley / Nevada City area on the weekends.
If you are interested in scheduling a class, please let me know.
Email: oitz @ naflute DOT com

Monday, January 16, 2006

Accessing Rhythmic Understanding : A TaKeTiNa Rhythm Workshop

Friday night January 20, 7–10pm;
Saturday & Sunday January 21 & 22, 10am–6pm
Place: Hidden Villa Visitors’ Center, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos, CA
Workshop leader: Zorina Wolf, advanced TaKeTiNa teacher with Karen Jandorf on surdo.

There is a connection between understanding rhythm and increasing intuitive awareness. Both invite you into a deeply relaxing, non-linear world--inner spaciousness.
The TaKeTiNa process, developed by Reinhard Flatischler, invites us to explore and experience rhythm not only as it relates to music, but to every part of our lives.
In this TaKeTiNa workshop, we use our bodies—through stepping, clapping, and vocalization—to find a way into rhythm, joy, and intuitive learning.
We stand together in a circle and at the same time are on our own individual journey.
Sense the support of a “container” while you learn at your own atural pace.
Relax while accessing your rhythmic understanding and curiosity!
No prior instruction or musical training is necessary.

For directions,
Fee: $185* in advance; $250 day of.
For information call Village Heartbeat at 650-493-8046

EMAIL: info AT villageheartbeat DOT com
Wear comfortable clothes. You may want to bring water and a blanketor yoga mat for lying on the floor.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

INAFA Conference 2006, Call for Presentations

If you are considering presenting a lecture or a performance at the 2006 INAFA Conference in Northern California (hosted by the Northern California Flute Circle), then you need to get your requests into Kathleen Joyce soon. The INAFA website lists the performers and lecturers who have already been accepted.

You can send your proposal to:

INAFA Convention
3351 Mintonville Point Drive
Suffolk, VA 23435

You can email Kathleen at: inafa AT aol DOT com

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gaden Monks return to Grass Valley

The Gaden Monks will be in Grass Valley from Jan 15th - Jan 29th. This is sponsored by the Sierra Friends of Tibet.
The complete schedule is online. Most of the events take place at St. Josephs Cultural Center (where my Taiko group: Grass Valley Taiko just happens to have our dojo). This is a rare opportunity, it's not clear when/if the monks will be in our area again.

I am looking forward to viewing the Sand Mandala which will be open for viewing daily 10 AM - 4 PM starting on Sunday 1/15. On Friday 1/27, 7 PM there will be an explaination of the Sand Mandala.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Exercise: Basic Tonguing

Following yesterday's introduction to tonguing, here are a few exercises to work on improving your technique.

Put the flute to your mouth. Cover the top three notes of the flute, and blow a long steady note. Next, try saying “Tu” into the flute. Experiment with short and long notes: Say “Tu”. Next try a long one: “Tuuuuuuuuu”. Blow a note without tonguing - can you hear the difference in the attack? Practice the scale with the basic tonguing technique, until you can achieve it consistently on each note on the flute.


Try a basic scale while double-tonguing the beginning of each note.


Try the basic scale will triple-tonguing the beginning of each note.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wild and Scenic Environment Film Festival starts tomorrow

In Grass Valley / Nevada City...

From the Wild and Scenic website:

"Join us for another fabulous weekend at the largest environmental film festival on the West Coast. The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival sits apart from the hundreds of festivals around the world by leaving you feeling INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to go out and make a difference in your community and the world.
It’s a festival for activists by activists. The event is organized and hosted by the
South Yuba River Citizens League. For over 20 years this grassroots environmental organization has been bringing the community together around the protection of the Yuba Watershed.
At the festival, you’ll LEARN new ideas from a selection of inspiring environmental films with hardhitting topics including bioengineering, water issues, wilderness preservation, citizen activism, and more. You’ll EXPERIENCE the adrenalin of kayaking the wildest rivers, climbing the highest peaks, and trekking across the globe with adventure films around the world. You’ll EXPLORE the issues and movements with leading environmental activists and professionals, filmmakers, and celebrities. And you’ll CELEBRATE the natural and wild world with 5+ venues of films and workshops, children's Saturday morning cartoons, art shows, wine tastings VIP parties, and a champagne breakfast and awards ceremony.
All this and more at the largest (and most unique!) film festival of its kind on the West Coast and in one of the most charming towns in the Sierra Nevada, NEVADA CITY, California.

NAF Playing Tip #6: Tonguing

The first technique to control the attack of the note is called tonguing, because you will use your tongue to interfere with and control the air going through your mouth and into the flute. There are a variety of ways to use your tongue to control the airflow through your mouth, and this is one of the most basic ornamentation techniques. Experimentation is best teacher, so find an isolated spot to practice this technique.

To visualize how your tongue controls the airflow through your mouth as you speak, say the words: “Tu” or “Du” or “Ku”. Put you hand in front of your mouth, do you feel the air stopping briefly and then continuing as you say these words? Now say the word: “Tu-Tu” or “Tu-Tu-Tu”. Continue by trying to say “Tu” into your hand repeatedly as many times as you can in one breath.
NOTE: The most difficult note to blow with the tonguing technique is the lowest note on the flute (position 1, the fundamental note). This is because the fundamental note is most sensitive to overblowing (see Overblowing below). It is recommended that you initially try this technique on one of the notes higher on the flute (e.g. position4 with only the top three holes covered).

Controlling the Attack: A Soft Attack and a Hard Attack

The key to controlling the attack is in understanding what happens at the start of the abrupt airflow stoppage by your tongue while saying “Tu” or “Du”. The word “Du” is an example of a softer attack, while the word “Tu” is an example of a harder attack. You can verify this by saying “Du” alternatively with “Tu” into your hand held in front of your mouth. Try it into your flute. Do you hear the difference between “Tu” and “Du”?


Double-Tonguing is simply a technique where you quickly say “Tu-Tu”, “Du-Du”, or “Tu-Du” into your flute. In reality this produces a quick succession of two notes. Don’t forget that you can sustain the second note for a longer period of time.


Triple-Tonguing extends the idea of several quick notes, and is performed by saying “Tu-Tu-Tu”, “Du-Du-Du” or “Tu-Ku-Du” into the flute.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gentle Thunder Trio in Concert 1/27 & 1/29

The Gentle Thunder trio featuring Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and AmoChip Dabney will be in concert this month in Santa Cruz and Mt. Shasta. It's a new release event featuring the release of their new album: "Beyond Words". They met at the Renaissance of the Native American Flute event last summer. Will Clipman is a fantastic percussionist who has recorded multiple albums with R. Carlos Nakai

Gentle Thunder Trio at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz CA
8PM Friday January 27 2006

Gentle Thunder Trio at College of Siskiyous Theater, Mt. Shasta CA
4PM Sunday January 29 2006

Verizon Customers Beware of new Music Download service!!!

According a new report on Engadget: Verizon phones will stop playing the MP3 files you have already loaded on your phones if you subscribe to the new Music Download service from Verizon.

"The new phone software prevents you from playing MP3s on the phone as a result of an agreement Verizon Wireless made with Microsoft, the latter of whom stipulated that if the Verizon Wireless music store was gonna fly at all, MS wanted to make sure that phones using it could only play back Microsoft's audio format.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Goodwill Marathon

A passed this to me, and I am passing the invitation on to you...

An evening to celebrate LOVE, PEACE, TRUST & FRIENDSHIP ON Sat, 14th January 2006, 4 pm - 8 pm AT Unity Palo Alto Community Church 3391 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306-304

Phone: 408-737-2926

Email: communityoutreach_aol AT yahoo DOT com

Tickets: $10

What is Goodwill Marathon??The Goodwill Marathon is an attempt to invoke a beautiful vision of thefuture.A vision encompassing the year 2006 as the track and the Good wills &Blessings from thousands of heart the runners on this track, blessing every moment in the future with its presence, filling it with Love, Peace & Prosperity. Goodwill Marathon is an evening to remember OUR strengths as Human Beings. Goodwill Marathon is an evening to HUG a stranger and make thou a friend. NOTE: Goodwill Marathon doesn't require you to physically walk or run on atrack.
!!! EMBRACE THE YEAR 2006 WITH PEACE & LOVE !!!! Imagine the power of thousands of HEART coming together in GOODWILL. BE A PART OF THIS BEAUTIFUL PHENOMENON!!
Need for Goodwill Marathon?? The whole world belongs to you. But man identifies himself with hisprofession, religion, culture, nationality, language, region or sex and, maybe, as a human being. In a society plagued with stress andviolence, weneed to globalize wisdom. Goodwill Marathon is a stepping stone towards globalizing wisdom and fostering human values in society. GoodwillMarathonaims to encourage the practice of human values in everyday life andbringfocus on the innate dignity of human life.- Respect and consideration for the "other"- To care for and preserve Planet Earth- Importance of integrity and service- Attitude of non-violence- Individual and collective quest for peace and happiness


4:00 - 6:30 pm Musical Blessings around the world

Artists Performing:

  1. Fontain's M.U.S.E. : A quote from Half Moon Bay Review, CURRENTS magazine: ". setting magic to a world beat is Fontain'sM.U.S.E. playing original music to warm up the audience and improvisational segments throughout the show. A must see event ."
  2. EDDIE GALE's will mesmerize you with hisJazz.
  3. Meenakshi Srinivasan singing Maithreem Bhajatha (O World! Cultivate peace) in Sanskrit
  4. Ashwani Dhall & group singing Shabad to invoke the infinite Divine qualities of peace, love, trust, compassion, happiness in the Year 2006.
  5. Johanna Chu & group singing Tibetan Chant Om Mani Padme Hum, invoking the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of compassion

6:30 pm CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR PEACER emember our strengths as Humans

7:30 pm MEDITATION FOR WORLD PEACE Goodwill Marathon

If you wish to raise pledges for the Goodwill Marathon, please use the pledge form & talk to your friends, neighbours, colleagues. All proceeds go towards the One World Family Fund. The One WorldFamily Fund is an international Silver Jubilee initiative to establish a consolidated fund which will be used to support the Art of Living Foundation's (AOLF) educational programs, humanitarian services and social programs worldwide. Such a Fund will enable the Foundation to develop long term strategies and initiatives which will help extend its reach into the world community.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Promoting your music 101

Regardless of whether you are an emerging recording artist or a grizzled veteran, marketing your music is a critical part of your success as an artist. With the digital medium available to new recording artists, and a little creativity, you can do quite a lot by yourself without the need to hire (and pay) someone else. This is especially true if you are trying to do your marketing on a shoestring budget.

Our friends, Elysium Calling have done a lot on a shoe string budget. I've watched their work emerge. From the beginning, they set up and used their website as a crucial online place to drive fans. They also use word of mouth within the NCFC, which is an example of 'viral marketing'. The final thing is the hard work of gigging every weekend and having CD's for sale.

I've also noticed the lack of good Native American Flute music on iTunes. I have asked some of the major NAF recording artists why they aren't selling their music on iTunes. One response that I got was: "iTunes isn't hitting the market that buys my music...". WHAT? First of all, iPod/iTunes has more than a 70% market share of the digital music market. Secondly, in my view, there is a market on iTunes, because 1) there aren't very many NAF artists listing their music (the market is unsaturated) 2) a large percentage of iTunes users who are 30 and 40 somethings (like me) who aren't buying HipHop or Pop music, which means that they are looking for alternatives.

For more information

Bob Baker now publishes a blog and a podcast Buzzfactor with some excellent tidbits of information about marketing your music. Bob's New Years Eve post lists his top 10 music blog posts for 2005.
Bob is the author of the book Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook which is a great handbook of 'do it yourself' marketing tips for emerging artists.

David Hooper also has a has a blog on music promotion with some good information.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Help the Western Shoshone Defend their land

A friend of mine passed this information my to me regarding the ongoing saga of the Western Shoshone. The Western Shoshone Defense Project has a mission:
"To affirm Newe (Western Shoshone) jurisdiction over Newe Sogobia (Western Shoshone homelands) by protecting, preserving, and restoring Newe rights and lands for present and future generations based on cultural and spiritual traditions.

You can participate by signing a patition to the UN which requests the US Government to stop their violations against the tribe and the tribal lands.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Zakir Hussain's Masters of Percussion

Sat Apr 29, 08:00 PM 2006 (US/Pacific)

Today's pre-eminent classical tabla (a pair of single-headed tuned kettle drums) maestro, and a chief architect of the world music movement, Zakir Hussain has made unprecedented strides in bringing his instrument to a global audience. He is widely considered an international phenomenon, and his consistently brilliant performances have established him as one of India's most renowned cultural ambassadors. Masters of Percussion is an outgrowth of Hussain's memorable tours with his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha. The group has enjoyed successful tours in the West since 1996, with concerts featuring a thrilling display of drumming from both Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) classical traditions.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bay Native Circle Radio show on KPFA

You can check a really interesting talk radio show on Native American Issues: Bay Native Circle with hosts Lakota Harden, Janeen Antoine, and Ras K'Dee, every Wednesday at 2:00pm on listener-sponsored KPFA in Berkeley CA (94.1FM) or KFCF in Fresno CA (88.1FM). They also stream the show live on the Web at I've also just subscribed to the podcast archive of the show to listen on my commute. Here is the RSS podcast feed:

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bay Area Indian Calendar

For information on San Francisco Bay Area American Indian events you can check out the Bay Area Indian Calendar. You can also post events or join the MSN Group to be notified via email of new event postings.There is also a nice listing of Bay Area resources on the site.