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Released on September 09, 2010

Anasazi Spirit Flute from Amazon

Anasazi Spirit Flute
by Stephen Muires

The Anasazi flute: What's up with this flute? How is it different from the Native American flute?

The Native American flute (NAF) is considered to be a relatively recent development. No more than 200 years of history. The modern version of it is tuned in a pentatonic minor scale. It has a fipple or bird, making it real easy to play. There exist some traditional tunes and even recordings of what this flute possibly has sounded like.

None of these things are true for the Anasazi flute. It is old. Flutes that have been found in grave sites in Arizona are some 1300 years old. This means the flute pre-dates the arrival of the white man to the Americas. Not only that, the revival of this flute only became possible after 1930 when the first specimens of this type of instrument were found. It is tuned in a major pentatonic scale. It usually has a low key, like an A below the common F# or G of the NAF flute. It has no fipple. The flute is basically a hollow tube, made of wood or bamboo or plastic, with a rim at the mouth.

This makes the flute hard to play. It can be compared to the Japanese shakuhachi in this respect. Blowing on the rim produces the sound. This gives the flute player the possibility to modulate the sound, to add breathiness, to play soft or loud, to overblow into higher octaves, or to vary between mellowness and raspy overtones.

Lastly, since the flute was last played by the Anasazi before 1300-1400 AD, we have no idea what it sounded like, what music was played on it, how the scales worked, or what role it had.

Yet, all these things make the flute attractive for me. It's like holding a live wire into the history of America and of the people that lived here. When Jesus Christ walked the land of Palestine, he wanted everyone to know that He was the king and savior:

His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." (Luke 19: 37-40)

But the people in America at that time had no way of getting that message. No one here knew about the Lord. And so the stones had to cry out. This album demonstrates what that sounds like.

Each track is recorded using a different flute. Sometimes an ordinary NAF flute is used, but played in such a way and with such a scale that it sounds like an Anasazi flute. The flutes are made most commonly of aromatic cedar, but I am also using flutes made out of bamboo, river cane, mahogany, walnut, cypress, and even plastic.

The tunes are not recorded and mastered for easy listening, but rather for straight and direct intensity. I hope you will hear and enjoy this music.

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