Making Knowledge Out Of Sound

2009 April 13

Greetings and welcome to my first journey within the Native American flute portal blog. I want to thank Jeff and Geoffrey for asking me to come on board. I was asked to share a glimpse of my own World Flute music journey, to inspire others to listen and “make knowledge out of sound”.

We sometimes forget the many past flute masters who have gifted us with a foundation of sounds. Or as I like to say, “a base for yourself to be free from” in your own playing, at whatever level. Many of these great players like Charles Lloyd, Paul Horn, Yusef Lateef, Hozan Yamamoto, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Mann, James Newton, and Rolano Lozano (to name a few) had a natural spirit inside their music. “We must know it is their deep spirit and traditions that has created a better world through their music”. I have studied these flute masters for over 35 years and have had personal encounters with some of them who have inspired me to carry on the lineage the best way I can through education and by the example of my playing.  Many people in music exist in rules–rules can govern the expression.  One goes through a process to reveal their soul. The challenge is, what will you do with it? The great masters went beyond just the notes, or as my flute teacher James Newton told me “the notes are only the beginning of swing”.

Or to quote my Navajo culture bearer Paul Thompson “If your heart is in the right place the flute will take care of itself”.

Many flute players over the years have asked me how to get inside the music and become artists. Well first one must like there own notes and have a concept in there playing and a foundation to create and improvise there work either on record or in a live performance setting.

“You must let your instincts lead you to a good place”. I hope to share many observations i have made through my years of travels so you the player can be inspired by listening and playing some of the masters work of the past and present. I have had a wonderful opportunity to be part of the world flute lineage for the past 35 years and want to share in a good way with yuo all.

Till next time play up to the music!

Into the Winds we go…

Gary Stroutsos

4 Comments leave one →
2009 April 13

Great insight. Often people let the rules of music get in their way. Know your instrument, let it play for you.

2009 April 16
Jan permalink

“If your heart is in the right place the flute will take care of itself”.

I like that. I think that applies to all areas of life.

P.S. Welcome aboard!

2009 April 24

Wise words for all. I remember my first clarinet teacher always stressing that I learn all I can about the rules of music so that eventually I would be able to take the notes and make them my own. It only took me two years for this message to get into my head the right way. I’ve known many that can not play unless there is sheet music in front of them. When I played in orchestras, we all were expected to know the performance music before we ever started practice sessions, this was the only way (according to the conductor) that we could get the emotions into the music that the composer intended. What I found is that by knowing all the rules and the compositions, I was set free to express myself through the music as the composer intended, and not be a robot to the pages of notes.

I am thrilled that you are here with us, welcome to the portal. I look forward to learning from your experiences.

2010 January 6
Dwayne B. Sapling permalink

Thank you for the inspiration and the reminders. Lately, I have found myself too caught up the technical aspects of recording and trying to get the perfect performance. I need to get back to the simple joy of playing and letting the music be what it will be.

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