TerryLee Whetstone,
Good Medicine
(Ahwatukee, 2003)

Good Medicine is a CD of traditional Native American flute music that accompanies the audiobook by the same title. (The two-CD audiobook is also reviewed here on Rambles.) The purpose of this CD is to assist the listener in joining as one with nature and becoming a part of the natural world.

The flutist is quick to explain on the cover that these are new songs in the traditional style simply because in his Native American culture, Cherokee, music is used as part of a sacred ceremony, and the old traditional songs are all sacred and not meant for recreational purposes.

As you listen to Whetstone's often haunting and always soulful flute melodies, your mind will be relieved of the thoughts and pressures of everyday life and you will find yourself focusing inward for answers and meditating on the messages brought by nature.

Whetstone has included the three selections from the audiobook, with "Song of the Eagles" being expanded to more than 5 minutes. It is a remarkable piece.

For me, the easiest song to journey to is "Night Time Magic," but "Twilight Spirits" is also an easy piece to send your soul on a flight. They seem to beckon your spirit to come out and seek a different view of the world.

The variety on this CD rather surprised me. I expected all the pieces to be laidback and serene, but it begins with two that are upbeat and awakening -- energizing. Then, Whetstone does an abrupt change with the third piece. It took me three tries to get through it without going to sleep. I seldom relax to that point unless I am meditating or otherwise willfully attempting to relax and have only done it once before while trying to review a piece. However, "Gentle Breeze" is hypnotically relaxing. The flute seems to take on a life or energy form and massage my temples. I suspect that this two/one combination is meant to raise the energy level before directing it inward.

From this serene and tranquilizing piece, Whetstone moves to a staccato rhythm with rips and trills, although not of the magnitude of the first two. It is as if he is providing an emotional and psychic workout for the listener, engaging every emotion and moving you through all the energy stages from fully energized to absolutely relaxed.

There are 14 selections on this CD for just over an hour of music. I really liked the way it ends. The next-to-last selection brings the energy level back up and the final one mellows you out to an even, peaceful feeling.

This is the kind of CD that will mean something unique to each listener and will often sound different according to your mood when you hear it. One time, you may focus on one selection while the next time, there will be another that really touches you in a special way. It is a music collection that you will never tire of and always look forward to hearing again.

Whetstone is an accomplished flutist, although he says that he is self-taught and that his music is given to him from a higher power. He is guided during his compositions. Perhaps this is what makes his music so special and unique. He is an artist, poet and writer.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 6 March 2004

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