From Where the Sun Rises (Canyon Records, 2010)
It’s good to see young American Indian musicians pursuing musical projects that go beyond pow-wow and round dances. Estun-Bah is an instrumental trio formed by three young musicians from the American Southwest. The group features Tony Duncan (of the Apache and Arikara/Hidatsa nations ) on the Apache cane flute, which is indigenous to the Southwest; Darrin Yazzie on guitar; and Jeremy Dancing Bull on drums.
Estun-Bah’s album is titled From Where the Sun Rises. The beautiful melodies of the Apache flute, accompanied by guitar and native drums create a series of soundscapes that takes you to the ancient tribal lands. The album was nominated as Best World Music Album and Best Instrumental Album at the Native American Music Awards.
The word “Estun-Bah” is an Apache word meaning “For the Woman.” The American Indian flute was traditionally used as a courting instrument. A man would play the most beautiful song on his flute before approaching a woman to show his honor and respect for the woman.
“I believe music is the language of our soul,” says Tony Duncan. “One song can capture your heart and elevate your emotions. One melody can sweep you off to your own personal paradise. Music is and always has been an important part of native culture. As traditional sounds blend with more contemporary sounds. One element remains forever embedded in the sounds of Native America- the love and respect for all life. These are songs and melodies of the heart. I hope you understand my thoughts and expressions.”
From Where the Sun Rises is a promising debut album by a group of young American Indian musicians who are seeking contemporary forms of expression based on their native roots.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.