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Sundance Season

Sundance Season

by R. Carlos Nakai

It was a faithful evolvement that brought the person, place and project together. Celestial Harmonies had long been searching for an appropriate project to record in the Lindisfarne Chapel. At the same time we had heen seeking to record Native American musicians who had remained in touch with their cultural past, yet had the openness to communicate with the present day world. Our gratitude to the flutist Paul Horn for introducing us to R. Carlos Nakai, a remarkable Navajo-Ute from Arizona.

The San Luis valley is near the land where the Ute Summer Spiritual Gatherings, generally referred to as the Sun Dances,were and still are being celebrated and this is how this project got its title. In early July, during a break in the recording sessions, the engineer Stephen Hill, Carlos and myself saw a poster in a local restaurant advertising the annual Ute Sun Dance ceremony. We each looked at one another and knew we had a concept and title for the project.

With this recording it has been our wish to bring forth the Native people's music as it is today, to the other people's of the world, to renew the reverence and rejoice the Spirit.
Ruby McFarland (project coordinator)

54 minutes 1988



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1 Voices
Communicating without words is achieved through the language of music.
2 Mountain Chant
Out of the North comes the Bear who guards the land of rugged eternal beauty. The buttes and crags of the Sangre de Cristo range surrounding the Lindisfarne Retreat in south central Colorado.
3 On Eagle's Wings
Meditations on the scintillating flight of the Golden Eagle over mountain ranges and through intense blue skies and wispy clouds of mid-summer
4 Anasazi Visions
The awesome timelessness and spectacular juniper scented beauty of this land where my ancestors once roamed.
5 Evensong
The intense quiet of Lindisfarne is shattered by the celebratory blaze of sunset over the mountain bedecked horizon.
6 Water Bearer
Reaffirming the essence of life upon this small dust speck orbiting a very small star.
7 White Shell Dreams
Contemplating the gentle sounds of a mid-summer shower in the mountains.
8 Light Waves
The recurring phenomenon of light refracting through water droplets, manifesting as rainbow paths.
9 Shadow Dance
Revealing the illusion of existence, akin to an ephemeral journey through darkness and light.
10 Ritual I
Earth Convenant - the first of two ritual pieces acknowledging our inclusive affinity with all of Gaia.
11 Ritual II
Circle of Life - traveling the life road in balance, harmony and peace, going forth with a cool body
12 Continuum
Using the Eagle-bone whistle, the petitioner asks for eternal dialogue with the Great Mystery
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