Gratitude to R Carlos Nakai
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For over twenty years, I have listened to Nakai’s music when I draw. I find that it puts me into the meditative state I need. I bought my first Nakai album (“MIgration”) because I liked the cover. Strange how the Universe works.
I had no idea I would ever meet him.
Fast forward to Spring of 2015. I was looking for a Native American flute player for Symphony Chaco, which, at the time, was just a dream. I contacted several others, then summoned all the courage I had and contacted RC. It would be a dream come true, but I didn’t get my hopes up.
3 weeks later, he called. We talked for well over an hour in a conversation that ranged from music to politics to the environment to philosophy to Chaco. Not one note of the Symphony had been written at the time.
It has been quite a journey. Our first meeting in Tempe, emailing scores back and forth, more hour-long phone conversations, the premiere of the Symphony in ’16, the performance in Gallup, walking with him in Chaco, the Touhill performance and most recently the premiere of the Chaco Chamber version in Abiquiu back in June.
He called a year ago one Saturday morning. He had been out in a grove of Aspens playing his flute for the trees.
Nakai has traveled all over the world. He has extensive knowledge of Native American ways and languages, herbs, birds, history, jazz, and, of course, flutes. He is also hilarious at times.
He is woven into the Symphony, not just his sound, but his thought. As the CD and DVD show, he is a huge presence. None of this would have happened without him.
It was not a dream come true; it was far beyond that. I could never have imagined these past few years.
This morning, as his flute is playing through my speakers, I am grateful he took a chance and that our paths crossed.