The Native American flute comes alive in the hands of Mary Youngblood. Of Aleut and Seminole ancestry, she is one of the first Native women to record this sacred instrument. Her haunting music is much more than song, it is "liquid poetry, a prayer." A profoundly original and vibrant performance recorded in the natural acoustic space of Moaning Cavern in Vallecito, CA.
As we venture into the Moaning Cavern, carrying recording equipment and Mary's arsenal of flutes, we descend wooden stairs through a narrow crack in the earth. Soon the crack opens as we reach the top of the main cavern. We continue down long spiral stairs and find ourselves 180 feet underground, marveling at the immense cavern with is strange underground rock formations. Before long the microphones are up, the tape is running, and we listen in awe as the music flows forth, resonating throughout the cavern. Besides Mary's flute and breath, the only sound heard on this recording are the natural sounds of the cavern, mostly drops of water, which add just enough presence to let yourself imagine being there. Occasionally, the water makes a low drum beat sound, sometimes at just the right moment to accent a note or the end of a musical phrase, Performed in this mystical environment, Mary's unique sound and songs create a powerful musical experience.
48:04 minutes — ©1998