Monday, December 31, 2007

Lakota Nation secedes from the United States

This story occurred on Dec 17, 2007, but I haven't heard about it from any mainstream news organization. I am posting it here, in the hopes that someone will provide some additional information (in the comments) about the truth of the story.

According to the story, several 'representatives' of the Lakota Nation declared that they are seceding from all treaties with the United States and Canada. Upon further research on the web, I learned that the group making the statement is called Lakota Freedom and the leader of this group is Russell Means. There seems to be some discussion about the representation of Russell and Lakota Freedom for the larger Lakota Nation.

It's also interesting, I tried to goto this link today:
But I got a message in my browser saying that "HTTP: Bad Request"... Seems like the site has been pulled down for some reason.

I'd like to learn more about this story. It's an interesting idea, seceding from the United States. One which I think the indigenous nations are entitled to if their treaties are bogus, but something that is likely to garner a interesting response from the president and the nation if indeed it's true.

Related links:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

NCFC Central wants to send everyone out there in flute land a very happy holiday. Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season. Play the flute, and make everyone's day better...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

50th Annual Grammy Awards Announced

And the nominees are (envelope please...):

Best Native American Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Oklahoma Style
    Walter Ahhaitty & Friends

  • Watch This Dancer!
    Black Lodge
    [Canyon Records]

  • The Ballad Of Old Times
    Davis Mitchell

  • Reconnections
    R. Carlos Nakai, Cliff Sarde, William Eaton & Randy Wood
    [Canyon Records]

  • Totemic Flute Chants
    Johnny Whitehorse
    [Silver Wave Records]

Best New Age Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Faces Of The Sun
    Peter Kater
    [Silver Wave Records]

  • Sacred Journey Of Ku -Kai, Volume 3
    [Domo Records, Inc]

  • One Guitar
    Ottmar Liebert
    [Spiral Subwave Records]

  • Southwest
    Eric Tingstad
    [Cheshire Records]

  • Crestone
    Paul Winter Consort
    [Living Music]

For a complete listing:

Friday, December 14, 2007

INAFA Convention 2008 Announced

Here is an update concerning the 2008 International Native American Flute Association convention to be held at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on July 9-13, 2008.

The evening performers list is as follows, thus far ... (each evening features three performers):

  • R. Carlos Nakai
  • Kevin Locke Joseph Fire Crow
  • Sonny Nevaquaya
  • Michael Graham Allen (Coyote Oldman)
  • Xavier Quijas Yxayotl
  • Ash Dargan
  • Autumn's Child
  • The Peter Phippen Quartet
  • Rafael Bejarano
  • FIFTH WORLD: The New World Music of Will Clipman, Ash Dargan, and Andrew Begay

So it looks like there will be several group performances at the next INAFA convention. This should be a very entertaining event.

INAFA welcomes performance, presentation, and workshop proposals on a variety of subjects dealing with world music, world flutes, Native American music, Native American culture, Native American flutes, and anything that is of interest to their membership and the convention participants.

For further information, please visit the INAFA Web site at:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Special Thanks to Loping Wolf

Wow. I can't believe that the week is half over and I haven't had a chance yet to post a HUGE THANK YOU to Dan, Sheree and the rest of the Loping Wolf crew for pulling together such a wonderful event last weekend!

The day started early and slow with folks starting to trickle into the event starting with vendors before 9 AM. There were lot's things to look at. Fairyring Mushroom, Brian Revheim and Lew Price all had flutes for sale. Robin and Ricardo had some wonderful jewelry and handmade arrows and Dave the Drum maker had a selection of Ashikos and Djembes.

Mike and Alex set up the sound system early and a few brave souls serenaded the early arrivals. Things kicked off a little after 10 am with Ricardo presenting an opening blessing. This was followed by Doc who danced and told us some wonderful stories. Food was served around 11 AM and following this there were some wonderful open mic performances until the workshops started a little after noon.

I presented an "Absolute Beginners Workshop" to a wonderful group of 17 newbies, who all tried every exercise I asked them to and exceeded my expectation (Great Job!).

Dan R presented the next workshop along with his recording partner Pat who played the piano keyboard. The focus of this workshop was on playing with other instruments. Dan and Par have just completed the recording of a new CD with piano music which is designed to easily play along with on your pentatonic tuned flutes. Dad demonstrated several songs and Pat played live while the students all had the chance to experiment with the song. The students all left with a copy of the CD.

Finally Mary Youngblood presented a workshop on Ornamentation to an excited group of folks. Lots of wonderful sounds came from the workshop room during this workshop. Mary was there all day selling CD's, songbooks and generally greeting everyone who wanted to chat.

We were amazed with the view of a wonderful sunset from the Lake of the Pines clubhouse with the lake in the background and the colors of the sunset painting the water a memorable hue.

Once again a fun event all around. Thank you Loping Wolf!

Weekend Events: Dec 14 - 17

You can alway check out the Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that other can know!

Friday, Dec 14

  • Remember Hawk Littlejohn - Please take a moment at sunrise or sunset to play a song in rembrance of Hawk Littlejohn. Hawk's influence is a part of almost every flute makers path whether they knew him personally or not. As result we need to all be thankful for the wonderful spirit that Hawk preserved this this instrument that we all love so much...
    If you never had the opportunity to meet Hawk, purchase or borrow the "Songkeepers" video and you'll be able to understand how Hawk was able to influence the path of so many people.

Saturday, Dec 15

Monday, Dec 17

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mark Holland: The Greatest Gift

I've spent the morning listening to Mark Hollands' new holiday CD: The Greatest Gift.

WOW! 'Tis the season, and I've had my Christmas music playing on my iPod for the last 3 weeks while I work. I've anxiously awaited the arrival of Marks' new CD as the latest holiday CD in my collection. Mark Holland is an inspired composer and arranger, pushing the pentatonic Native American Flute to new places. It's especially challenging on many of these classic tunes since many of the notes require cross-fingering to get the right note. But Mark does it masterfully.

As for the orchestration and arrangement, I love the variety of instruments and musicians that Mark brings together for this album. Autumns Child has always been a loose collection of musicians built around a semi-perminant core of folks. There are many names on the liner notes for this album as Mark pulled in skilled players of a variety of instruments, including cello, setar, hang, hammered dulcimer, piano, harp, guitar and a variety of percussion.

I'll have copies for sale at the Loping Wolf Winter Gathering on Sunday. Otherwise you can sample the songs and order directly from Mark at his website: or from CDBaby:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sale for Stellar Flutes: Dec 9

On December 9th, Stellar Flutes will have a sale from 9 am to 2 pm. Tom Stellar makes wonderful sounding (and looking flutes). I had the pleasure of meeting Tom at INAFA Convention 2006 in Belmont. It sounds like there be discounts up to $50 offer regular prices. Prices range from $90 to $375. Looks like a great opportunity.

T0 get the discount, make sure that you tell you are a Northern California Flute Circle member and heard about it here...

Weekend Events: Dec 7 - 9

You can alway check out the Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that other can know!

Saturday, Dec 8

Saturday, Dec 9

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Music Book from Jessica Walsh

I discovered a wonderful new songbook for anyone who's looking for new music to play on the Native American Flute. It's called "Music for Native American Flute, Volume One", by Jessica Walsh. The publisher sent me a review copy and I fell in love with it.

First of all, this book has been around for a while (2005), it just hasn't been very well advertised until now. The book has the sheetmusic (Nakai Tab + flute pictographs) for 40 songs. There is a companion CD included on which Jessica plays all of the songs on a variety of flutes.

What I really love about this book is the variety of world music included. Jessica
a has songs from around the world, including folk tunes from Scotland, Ecuador, France, Walsh, Ireland, Japan, Greece, Israel, Palestine, Canada plus a few classical tunes. No where else have I seen a such a refreshing collection of tunes all transcribed for the modern-tuned (pentatonic 6-hole) Native American Flute. There are nine tunes written entirely in the basic pentatonic scale and will be easy for beginners to start with (no cross-fingering). Beyond that the rest of the songs will keep any advanced beginner to intermediate flute player challenged for a while.

Here's my favorite quote from the book:

"Flutes are like horses; they act as mirrors of the spirit"

This book is listed as "Volume One". I sure hope that Jessica is successful enough with this publication that she continues to deliver more high quality and unique songbooks like this one.

If you're interested in purchasing this book, I will have it for sale at the Loping Wolf Winter Gathering this weekend (Dec 9, 2007). Otherwise you can contact me directly for purchase.

New Pandora Music Service

Clint Goss posted this on the flute email list, and it's a great way to create your own custom online music radio. It's called Pandora. If you like to listen to music at work (or home), then you simply create a new "radio station" by telling it what artists you like. It will then start streaming music to your computer. As the music plays, you can give each song a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" to tell it that you like or don't like the song playing. A thumbs up will keep the song in rotation and help the service locate other songs/music like the one you liked. A thumbs down removes the song from rotation and discourages the service from playing similar songs. Two thumbs down to the same artist and they are 'banned' from your 'radio station'.

I've created a couple sample radio stations to test it. Here's the Radio Stations which I created and the behavior of the selected tunes. Note that selecting an artist doesn't necessarily play all of the songs from their album(s). The first song it plays is from the selected artist, then it begins to play related music.

For example: I started with "Mary Youngblood" and it played the first song from her album: "Feed the Fire". The following songs it chose to play were from a more folk, vocal, guitar genre, not Native American Music. Not exactly what I wanted.
The second example I chose was R. Carlos Nakai. This choice seemed to produce a station with Native American Flute music in the likes of Robert Tree Cody
Choosing "Peter Kater" created a station of new age piano music including David Lanz, Jim Brickman, etc.
If you want to try a different path, you can select from their Genre list for a different variety of music.

Here's the link:

I haven't been listening long, but I already like it. You are required to create an account after a short period of listening, but it's free. You do have to provide your birth year, zip code and gender when registering, but this is used to target the advertising which plays at the bottom of the website (I clipped it from my screenshot above, I didn't want to advertise for them....)

Looks like you can also pay a $36 per year fee to get it without the advertising.

For more information:

If you discover some interesting radio station, post a comment with the artist(s) which you selected.