Remembering the Songs: Music Traditions from the Zuni, Navajo, and Salish is a multimedia project with a music CD and a video documentary produced by Salish educator Julie Cajune.
The film Remembering the Songs begins with an interview with American Indian musician Fernando Cecillion, who discusses the endangered art of flute-playing in the Zuni pueblo.
“The film explains the music,” says Cajune. “People that aren’t familiar with music from traditional American Indian communities may not know that most of the old music, the traditional music, had a spiritual origin. So my purpose in this project was to try to re-inspire young people to learn about their own traditions and to maybe become interested again. Some of those traditions haven’t persisted.”
Another enthralling character included in Remembering the Songs is Paul Thompson, a master Navajo (Diné) flute maker.
The film also presents the work of the late Jerome Vanderburg, one of the last Salish men who made and played traditional flutes. Vanderburg and his wife Agnes were recorded by the Smithsonian Institution in the early 1950s, singing and performing traditional flute music.
Remembering the Songs includes Gary Stroutsos’ version of a Salish love song based on Vanderburg’s melodies. “I don’t think anybody in our community makes those traditional flutes anymore,” says Cajune. “So my idea was to try to re-inspire people to keep those traditions alive.”
The music disc is primarily instrumental and includes a mix or traditional and modern flute performances by Fernando Cecillion, Gary Stroutsos and Paul Thompson.
The Remembering the Songs film is an absorbing presentation of the American Indian flute traditions of the American Southwest and Northwest.
For additional information: www.caipar.org
Or by mail: All CDs and DVDs:
The Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research
P.O. Box 70
Pablo, MT 59855
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.