Songscapes of Native America CD

Native American Indian musicians

Ceremony and Ritual
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  Songscapes of Native America is a compilation CD of Native American music produced by The Cultural Conservancy in partnership with Stillwater Sound.

The songs on this album represent a rich diversity of tribal traditions, from the Great Plains of the Dakota nation to the desert canyon lands of the Shoshone and Navajo, from the coastal bluffs of Native California to the mountain winds of the Peruvian Andes.

 Native American men from seven distinct tribal backgrounds sing traditional and original songs in five different native languages and perform three instrumental flute pieces.

 We use the term “songscapes” to describe specific Native American musical expressions that employ traditional singing styles and native languages and instruments (drum, flute, and shaker) to evoke the unique landscapes and ancestral places of Native America. Through the recording of native voices we preserve the dynamic oral tradition – the breath, sound, and song – of native peoples and do our part to keep these songscapes alive and available to present and future generations. We hope that these soundscapes will interest and inspire you and provide a glimpse into the musical diversity and beauty of today’s Native American music.

 Corbin Harney (Shoshone)
Corbin Harney is a spiritual leader, healer and internationally known indigenous rights and anti-nuclear weapons activist. He is the founder and director of Poo-Ha-Ba, an indigenous healing center in Tecopa, California. He has performed his songs at the United Nations and at demonstrations from The Nevada Test Site to the Russian Nuclear Bombing Range in Khazakstan. He has been the featured speaker at conferences around the world and has led thousands past the front gates of the Nevada Test Site on his traditional lands in mass acts of non-violent resistance to stop the testing of nuclear weapons. In 1994, Corbin Harney founded the Shundahai Network (Shundahai is the Newe [Shoshone] word for “peace and harmony with all creation”) to work with people and organizations to respond to pressing environmental, nuclear and Native issues and to ensure that Native voices are heard and heeded in the movement to shape national and international policy. ( Corbin is the author of two books, The Way It Is and The Nature Way.

 Robert Woableza LaBatte (Dakota)
Woableza (Wo-a-blay-za) is a noted American Indian spiritual leader, peace teacher, storyteller, singer and cultural consultant. He has traveled across the continent for over 30-years gathering and sharing stories, songs and dances from the elders of many tribes. Now he shares that knowledge with people across the continent and around the world. Woableza is a great grandson of the famed Dakotah Sioux "Chief Ti Wakan" (Sacred Lodge) who was instrumental in restoring peace between the Dakota and the United States Army during the great Indian wars. He is a follower of the teachings of the famous Lakota Holyman, Chief Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull). Woableza has been an Advisor to The Cultural Conservancy for the past ten years and he is a member of the Manataka American Indian Council and Spiritual Elders of Mother Earth.

 Tito La Rosa (Peruvian Quechua)
Tito La Rosa, a descendent of Quechua Indians of the Peruvian Andes, has devoted over a decade to recovering and preserving, studying and intuiting the ancestral music of Peru. La Rosa performs on instruments of Inca and pre-Incan cultures that include the condor feather pan pipe, condor bone flute, llama bone flute, conch shell, clay water vessels, and clay pan pipes more than 2,000 years old. La Rosa is a featured performer on new age music artist Kitaro’s 2001 Grammy Award winning recording, Thinking of You, and recently toured with Kitaro in Japan. With numerous recordings to his credit, La Rosa is nominated for the 2002 Association for Independent Music INDIE Award for his work The Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, which unites the sounds of the native cultures of the Americas. The ancient prophecy of the eagle and the condor avows that the two birds, which represent the people of North and South America, will join together again one day as they were in days gone by.

 John-Carlos Perea (Apache)
John-Carlos Perea is an urban American Indian electric bassist, pow-wow singer, cedar flautist and composer whose original work “pushes beyond the wanky self-indulgence of old-school fusion to forge a new kind of multiethnic groove.” (SF Weekly) He has performed alongside many eminent American Indian artists such as Joy Harjo, Joanne Shenandoah, Indigenous and Primeaux and Mike. In addition to leading his own groups and performing with San Francisco-based ensembles Gathering Of Ancestors and Search 5, John-Carlos also leads the Sweetwater Singers, a Northern Plains Intertribal pow-wow drum. John-Carlos has lectured at San Francisco State University and Stanford University on the subjects of American Indian Music and American Indian Modern and Creative Performing Arts. He is currently attending graduate school at UC Berkeley in pursuit of a PhD in ethnomusicology. First Dance, John-Carlos’ first CD of original compositions, can be purchased online at

 Enrique Salmón (Rarámuri)
Enrique Salmón (pronounced sahl-móhn), is a Rarámuri (Tarahumara). He has dedicated his studies and work to ethnoecology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in order to better understand his own and other cultural perceptions of landscapes, philosophy, and place. Enrique has a B.S. from Western New Mexico University, an MAT in Southwestern Studies from Colorado College, and a PhD. in anthropology from Arizona State University where he studied how the bio-region of the Rarámuri people of the Sierra Madres of Chihuahua, Mexico influences their language and thought. Enrique has published several articles on Indigenous ethnobotany and traditional knowledge. He is a program officer for the Greater Southwest and Northern Mexico regions for the Christensen Fund. Enrique is also an accomplished Bassist playing Jazz, Latin Beat, and Avant Garde Freestyle sounds.

 Marcos Size (Navajo)
Marcos Size is a remarkably gifted Navajo (Diné) singer and multi-instrumentalist. He has studied the music of India with Ali Akbhar Khan learning to play the sarod and becoming fluent in the complex rhythmic structures known as talas and in the traditional melodic and harmonic variations known as ragas. In addition to his powerful Navajo singing and drumming in the traditional pow-wow style, he also plays classical Spanish flamenco guitar and incorporates his outstanding musical sensibilities in whatever style he performs in.

 Ayapish Slow (Chumash) (1938 – 2005)
Ayapish Slow was a traditional artist, singer/songwriter, cultural demonstrator, and professional cultural resource consultant. He was a “Mexican-Indian” who knew he had native blood, but wasn’t certain of which tribe. Family stories mentioned Tarahumara and Navajo. He married into and worked closely with the local Chumash tribe and culturally practices many Chumash ways. He worked with the Chumash Elders Council of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. Ayapish lived most of his life in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area doing cultural resources monitoring, fishing, and producing and educating people about traditional arts and values. He also spent much of his time, especially in the last years of his life, in Karuk country in the Siskiyou Mountains of northern California. Ayapish was renown for his beautiful bone and stone jewelry, small sculptures, and other traditional art forms like singing and storytelling. He will always be remembered for his incredible artwork, his love of music and language, his fierce defense of native rights and traditions, and his infectious laughter and humor.
Ayapish passed away into the spirit world during the making of this CD. He had the opportunity to hear the whole album and was very excited to contribute to it. The two songs he sings are his original songs. This CD is dedicated to him.