Gary Stroutsos' Blog

Gary Stroutsos performs world flute music drawn from traditional cultures. Originally trained as a Jazz flutist, (studying with Jazz master flutist and composer James Newton, and Afro-Cuban flute master Danilo Lozano) Stroutsos’ work now features American Indian music and Chinese, Cuban and American Jazz stylings, reflecting his diverse musical influences. Gary Stroutsos is acknowledged to have made a distinctive contribution to the preservation of American Indian music and culture, and plays with some of the finest American Indian artists working today. In over twenty releases, Stroutsos has created a body of work which expresses a passion for sound travelling: music without borders. Visit Garys' website.

Making Knowledge Out Of Sound: The Enduring Legacy Of The American Indian Flute

2012 March 7
by Gary Stroutsos

The true essence for me of the sound and the enduring legacy of the traditional American Indian Courting Love Flute with its haunting, yet plaintive, sounds is the long vocal-like

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phrases and the unique delicate pulse that transcends the sound and takes you to another

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world. That place is the land and the sounds of the natural world’s movements that I feel first inspired American Indian Flute players in days gone by.

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Voices of deep traditions, which were not our own, came

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alive over the generations that go back beyond counting. If the songs were played from the heart, the flute would take canada pharmacy avert care of itself.

I first heard this sound inside a now long-gone company called “The Nature Company” in a mall in Seattle, Washington. The sound was from “Flash of the Mirror” by a traditional Lakota (Hunkpapa Band) and Anishinaabe flute artist, Kevin Locke. Kevin was one of the first to go back to the elders and learn traditional songs, which he later played and recorded on his

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The pure solo aspects of his sound drew how to buy viagra me to North Dakota to meet him, and study with him the music and the culture of his people that produced his work. When he first met me at Makoche Recording studios in downtown Bismarck, North Dakota, he asked me, “What are your motives and intentions with this music and the flute?” I had to think on that for a minute, and I told him, “I want to learn the songs and play them in a good way.”

Today there seems to be very little interest in the traditional songs passed down by families over time still being sung, and few are played on Native American Flutes. I understand how we are moving faster today and have so much information on hand, but it is important that these songs be preserved.

What we must better understand is that it takes time to shape the music and study the songs in order to begin to play them with some sense of respect and dignity the music deserves. The time I spent early on viagra effect building a foundation through these artists I have met,

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studying the songs, and recording the songs has been so valuable to me as an artist and someone who wants to carry the music forward.

The road has not always been easy, what with recording industry interference, false promises, hurt feeling generic viagra among artists, issues of ownership of the music, and just the sad reality of this being a very small niche market of

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interest. However, through it all, when one puts in the time, they can begin to have a sound they can call their own. I entered this world in the best way possible: Through the people who produced the music first, and I learned the right way (and am still learning today, for the musical journey is never done).

I would never have a had an opportunity to become the recording artist that I am today, or a cultural outreach artist, or someone who could write my thoughts down, if not for the time on the Northern Plains of Dakota and Makoche Records putting out my first recordings and introducing me to the American Indian artists from that label.

How did I approach this music, other than traveling to North Dakota and meeting some American Indian artists, you may ask? Coming from an American Jazz music background, I understood the deep meaning of the Afro-American art form we call Jazz today. I understood how melodies written for jazz soloists were to be improvised upon. This is what Jazz artists do: They improvise. You practice scales and technique, but you cannot teach the art of being on the spot, soloing over the melodies written for you. With regard to the “vocal aspects of traditional American Indian love songs,” I took the same approach I did with Jazz songs and learned the melodies, then rewrote the melodies in my solos. One of the first examples of this style is on my recording, “Winds of Honor,” and is a Navajo chant I learned from Navajo flute maker Paul Thompson, entitled “Shi Ni Sha.” I started the chant, played a solo, and then repeated the chant in order to give it

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I generic cialis have carried this method, for lack of better buy cialis generic india term, through to the present day when I play these songs I know. I feel this gives the music a sense of foundation or a “base from which to be free.” I have learned over the years how important these songs are to the people. My travels and conversations with Elders have taught me that the songs came to the person through the spirit world, through dreams, and other forms. These songs were not composed like a Jazz composer would write a song. This has given me a new outlook on the music and how to present it with more respect, if I am gifted with a song to learn that did come form the spirit world.

The space and timing of these songs takes a long time understand. There are “hidden phrases”

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in this music. Playing a traditional song that may sound so easy to hum or read from TAB is quite different when you play it on the flute. How do you make it “sound like the land?” We need to “make knowledge out of sound,” as Hunkpapa Lakota blind Medicine Man, Joe Flying Bye, told me many years ago on the banks of the Grand River at Sitting Bull Sundance camp one hot day. “You have to play the songs right or you may get throat damage and die.” I was not ready to believe him then. I do today.

When I first started to learn the unique relationship the land is viagra a safe drug had with the American Indian music, it brought to life many moods and inspirations that furthered my quest to play ed cialis the music of the American Indian. I remember standing on the banks of the Missouri River hearing the meadowlarks and the geese flying overhead, or inside the canyon walls of Canyon de Chelly listening to the winds whistling through the canyon. I was thus beginning to better understand how I was using these spaces as a musical collaborator, or partner, to inspire me to learn songs, then to go into the studio and record them for all to enjoy.

I always try to bring the history of a sacred space into the music as a way of giving the music a certain depth and emotion, or, as I like to say, “music through history.” Practice outside if you can, and go visit places that inspire you.\ vega 100mg sildenafil citrate\ canadian cialis\ generic sildenafil citrate\ prohormones and viagra

I will viagra cost per pill walmart always return to these places and play the songs from my heart and soul forever.

We have to look at traditions not our own, and this flute, in a good way. We have to share in a good way. We have to play the songs in a good way. We have to contribute what we can, with no egos

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involved, in a good way. We have to share any knowledge we have in a good way. The people I know shared with me–some may wonder why they shared–but in the end, the music is what counts and we must carry cialis use after prostatectomy it forward.

You will be rewarded in your own way if you are willing to do the work that it takes. This is all I did: Work over many hours and many years, and connect your heart with the music and the land.

“We come through ~ we play our songs ~ and we are gone.”

Sacred Songs – Afro Cuban Flute Music – Gary Stroutsos- Danilo Lozano

2009 May 3
by Gary Stroutsos

Greetings! I wanted everyone to learn more about my dear friend and mentor Danilo Lozano one of the finest Cuban flute players and producers of Cuban musicians in the world.

Professor Lozano teaches at Whittier College in LA and produced CUBA LA for Narada Records, and he is the music director of the Latin Jazz All stars based in LA.   Danilo has been a dear friend and has taught me so much about Cuban flute music.  His father Rolando Lozano (my favorite flute player in the world) is one of the most famous flute players ever from Cuba on the five key wooden flute.   He was in the famous  Orquesta Aragon (check You Tube).  They are swinging,  and he played with Mongo Santamaria and Cal Tjader, famous Latin Jazz artists from the 60’s.

Danilo and I are going to be recording sacred Afro Cuban Yoruba music with afro cuban percussion and vocals by Cuban culture bearer, volcalist Lazaro Galarragua.   We will be using various woodwinds for this project.   As the world of flute music continues to grow into new and exciting paths, please remember that flute music from Cuba is all about the drum and the haunting, chant-like qualities that one can produce from the vocal aspects of their music.   It is an honor for me to be in the presence of these great Cuban artists and to play my flute sound.

One of my greatest challenges playing woodwinds with afro Cuban musicians, for their sense of timing is very advanced and has such a spiritual quality to it.  I hear very little flute music other than that of  the Latin artists, and am very excited to bring more awareness of this music to all of you in the future!

Remember “put your own fingerprints on your music and long tones lead to a song”…

Into The Winds…

Gary Stroutsos

Making Knowledge Out Of Sound

2009 April 13
by Gary Stroutsos

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