Kinishba Deborah Martin & Erik WølloKinishba

Tracklist:
  1. Burial Ground
  2. Creation Story
  3. Kinishba
  4. Voices of Nature
  5. Fort Apache Meadowlarks
  6. Heart of the Warrior
  7. Prayer Song
  8. Nature's Paths
  9. Mountain Spirit
  10. Life Spiral

Release Details


Genre : Ambient, Atmospheric, Electronic, Meditative, Melodic
Label : Spotted Peccary Music
Country : USA
Format : CD, Digital album
Date : February 16, 2024

 

Kinishba – Spotted Peccary Music SPM- 9067

 

There is a challenge in bringing together different cultures and different times. Accepting this risk is important today as we realize the inevitable loss of the past, with its understanding of the constant presence of life here on Earth. Few dare to rise to the occasion as do Martin and Wøllo. Kinishba stands strong as a new creation with elements of today, together with much to remember from our complex human history.

 

1. About the album Kinishba

Nature is life. We each have a direct relationship with nature, just as spiritual music comes in different ways and from different traditions. The goals for creating songs of gratitude can usually be the same, simply to communicate a respectful thank you to nature for providing us with what we need to live. This is beautiful and rich listening, bringing together the past and the present, plus it brings into focus a way of life that is hard to remember, but very important because so many details are familiar, even though the language and the tools are so different from what we know now.

Heard here are vocals, the mouth bow, rain stick, Mayan medicine belt, Taos drums, turtle rattle, Roland V-synth, steel tongue drum, ocarina, electric guitars, woodblock, Apache basket, straw whistles, garden weasel, Pueblo shaker loops, Navajo cedar flute, tambourine, goatskin shakers, and probably some other stuff too. This is to honor the sacred place known now as Kinishba.

 

Twenty-seven historic buildings make up the…

…core of the 288-acre National Register Historic District, the Kinishba Ruins National Historic Landmark is a part of the Fort Apache Historic Park. Occupied by Zuni and Hopi ancestors until about 1400 AD, at its peak, Kinishba may have housed up to 1000 family members. The pueblo was vacated for unknown reasons. The Apache tribe lives in the area now. The spirit of this music is original and pays homage to the past, the beat is universal.

Deborah Martin continues pursuing her passion of exploring the depths of thematic composition through the process of creative layering of structured studio recorded compositions and live recordings of instruments, blending them into a world of ambient electronic expression. Her music sensibilities enable her to combine scenic melodies, rich symphonic sounds, and rhythmic structures to recreate the delicate balance of life in its many surroundings. Deborah’s releases include Under the Moon, Deep Roots Hidden Water, Ancient Power, Convergence, Tibet, Anno Domini, Between Worlds, Etched Into Memory (EP), Eye of the Wizard, The Silence Of Grace, Hemispherica Portalis (Portal of 1000 Years), and Chaos In Premonition.

 

Erik Wøllo was born in Hemsedal, Norway (1961)…

…and his musical experience covers a wide range of styles, but he is most known for his unique and personal electronic ambient music. He creates music that is both lyrical and rhythmic, successfully integrating elements of pop, rock and classical, as well as ethnic and electronic ambient music styles. During the last decade, he has produced solo albums at his own Wintergarden Studio in Norway which have been released on the Spotted Peccary and the Wanderings record labels. His releases such as Guitar Nova, Wind Journey, Emotional Landscapes, Blue Sky Red Guitars, and Elevations have all been very well received, often finding their way onto “Best of the Year Lists” in places like Amazon.com, NPR Radio, and among a large and loyal audience with many listeners all over the world.

The album Kinishba might be electronics with natural sounds and Apache spirits, treating the music as a very sacred way of honoring the spirits of the past and the present, with electric guitars, all manner of percussion, vocals, flutes, synthesizers and programming by Deborah & Erik, with Edgar Perry, Red Eagle, Prince George, Alfredo Way, and Leno Edwards. The Apache Gaan (Crown) Dancer songs were performed by Alfredo Way, Leno Edwards, and Edgar Perry. The Apache drums were performed by Alfredo Way and Leno Edwards. Prince George is heard playing the Navajo Cedar flute; the Mouth bow was performed by Red Eagle. Location and field recordings were made at the Red Eagle abode in Wellton, Arizona, Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park in Globe Arizona, Hon-Dah, Sunrise Lodge, the actual Kinishba ruins, Fort Apache, and Apache Cultural Center Wilderness Trails on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona.

 

2. The tracks

Infused with recordings of insects that were made at the Fort Apache Cemetery, the first track is “Burial Ground” (5:42) where the ghost herself sings of her situation, “Here I am, here I stay.” This ghost connects us with our spirit guide, sometimes blending the voices and beats of the grandfather singers who visit from another time. One of the spirits calls out from the drone tones, repeating his words in a language I do not understand. The rain stick, a drumbeat, ethereal electronic drones, and vocals intoning, combine with the Apache Gaan (Crown) Dancers. I like the music, I like the spirit, and combining voices from other times. With bell tones the guide has returned to finish and brings us the promise of new stories and tiny delicate bird calls.

Now a voice from long ago brings the pulse of life, with energy and meaning, “Creation Story” (5:18), several singers call out the story, how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it, the dancers keep it going. This is a major thrill for me, now the guide sings magically, and the dancers return and sing with their drums. Feel the gentle wind and birds in a wooded area, I hear toads from a rare desert marsh. Now the song is sung with its beat, oh hey yah, the flute arrives, the bell tones ring, still more life emerges from the wetlands, “Kinishba” (5:50). I am struck by the way the elements of the rhythm shift as they emerge, and the guide joins, oh oh oh long drone tones, a hypnotic pulse with the breezy sweeps out there.

 

The meadowlarks and river sounds were recorded at…

…Fort Apache. The sound of bees was recorded at Kinishba. Now begin with a low beat, night songs from the world outdoors. “Voices of Nature” (3:50) is a story in a language I do not know but I feel that the voice is meaningful and expressive, with calm innovative vocalisms with a powerful confidence. The guides have many calls imitating animals including Snake, Coyote, Crow, Owl, and Bear. I feel the importance of nature and having knowledge of animals and how important it is to respect all living things and to maintain the balance. “Fort Apache Meadowlarks” (5:33) has a beat with lots of shakers, the pulse is ever present, the feathered guides sing, elements come and go to emphasize and bring change of some kind, whistle screels, drums that shake the earth, the guitar soars and the heart cries.

The “Heart of the Warrior” (4:53) is always seeking energy for the battles ahead; strong, relaxing, simple, and cool feeling, the rhythm bubbles up and brings energy. The flutes and drums echo. Now a male singer emerges yet the flute owns the story, until the drums have a time, going around and around.

 

Now feel the quiet clearing and opening up “Prayer Song” (4:40) with…

… many voices from the past, representing a persistent haunting truth. Remember that the beat is essential, listening to the historic recordings of these voices as the winds comb through the remaining stones of the old village, the echoes from moments long past are here, somehow. Now a flute leads the way up, a gifted man named Prince George plays the Navajo cedar flute, and a visionary man named Red Eagle plays the mouth bow, “Natures Paths” (5:13). Together with the singers from another time who echo slightly joins creating a sense of entrancing repetition, I do not know what they are saying but they sound sacred. I listen to the voices ring and boom, hesitantly fading in and out.

The message is to remind us to be respectful of the power of nature, a flute calls to us while we are walking on the earth and the grandfathers sing, the Apache Gaan (Crown) Dancers sing the song of the “Mountain Spirit” (5:42), this blend of instruments is sweet and the vocals call to us all, the percussion changes the mouth bow recedes, sounding ghostly and slow floating watching wondering just pausing. We are on the journey of the sun, the circular movements of the four seasons, the rotating of the earth.

We are invoking the great spirit, it all fits perfectly, this moment with our musicians from different times, together, on we go, knowing that the guide is within us, adding to the beat of the dancers singing “way o way o…” This path goes on forever, our planet has its journey of the sun, “Life Spiral” (5:35) acknowledges the circular movements of the four seasons, the rotating of the earth, always invoking the great spirit, keeping the traditions of the earth, sky, sun, the waters.

 

3. Epilogue

Kinishba is Deborah Martin & Erik Wøllo’s second collaborative release on Spotted Peccary Music. Their previous release from 2009 is Between Worlds (SPM 9062). “The excitement and wonder of working together on Between Worlds are as strong today as it was a few years ago,” reflects Martin. “Kinishba became for us a pathway of continuing to honor the Apache and American Indian culture. These profound insights and deep experiences will always be a part of us, melding into these enduring legacies.” Wøllo continues, adding this part of the recollection, “I think we both felt that these ideas needed to be continued, there was more to explore. Kinishba emerged into something very unique and authentic.”

Mastered by Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary PNW Studios, Kinishba is available as a CD, as well as for streaming and downloading, including high resolution studio master formats. The cover art is by Elisabeth Østensvik, the album’s bold and engaging graphic design and 24-page multicolor booklet is by Daniel Pipitone, Spotted Peccary Studios NE.

 

4. Where to buy the album Kinishba?

You can buy the album Kinishba at the store of Spotted Peccary Music and Bandcamp.

Written by Robin James, March 1st, 2024
 
 


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