Johnny Whitehorse,
Totemic Flute Chants
(Silver Wave, 2007)

Totemic Flute Chants uses primarily instrumental music, played primarily on Johnny Whitehorse's flutes and didgeridoos, to -- as producer Robert Mirabal puts it -- honor our human existence through the mysterious and powerful qualities of animals.

The tracks are named after the animals they honor, so that we get such songs as "Whale," "Elk" and "Eagle." It is easy to visualize the animals that occasion each song; Whitehorse's writing and playing conjures them and he has a gift for capturing their essence in a melody.

The result is mysterious music that pretty much bypasses your brain and goes straight to your feelings, your heart. You sense the animals being ... well, described isn't really the right word -- it's more as though they are being recreated in the music. Whitehorse throws in a vocal or a recitation every once in a while and the supporting artists use, when the song calls for it, guitars and keyboards, but the flutes are always the major voice.

In his notes, Whitehorse writes "All over the world man has relied on the wisdom of animals to guide him and we need to remember their gift to us; the animals songs are the secret to our survival." This CD makes it easy and pleasurable to remember.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

31 May 2008

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