Im Polish by birth, American by choose, and Native American by heart.
I was adopted by a Mohawk elder as his brother 7 years ago. Shortly after the adoption I was given the Native name of Soaring Owl. Although I was adopted a Mohawk I follow and study the traditions of the Lakota.
I have been an artist making crafts representative of the planes Native Americans for better then 15 years.
I have collaborated with a brother flute player Keith Little Grizz to produce our first CD. The CD is titled Two Hearts and has been available since May of 2005. Our CD has solos from each of us including duets that were written by each of us. They are contemporary compositions in nature.
They are the sounds of the Native American flute that often times can be heard late at night at Pow Wow grounds while the dancers and vendors relax and share some quiet time before the next days festivities.
One of my other passions is to make my own flutes. My art and crafts are available for public viewing at http://www.geocities.com/soaring_owl2003 . I have several Flute Galleries posted on that site and it gets updated as new items become available, so please visit the site occasionally because it is constantly changing.
The flutes are one-of-a-kind and for my personal use. On occasion I have been known to gift a flute to an upcoming flute player as encouragement to continue on the path of the flute. Keith Little Grizz has been one of the recipients of such a gift and has used them in our recordings.
I had been playing the flute for close to 3 years strictly for my own enjoyment, often time I would sit outside of our camper on Pow Wow grounds late at night and play the flute while contemplating the days events. While attending a Pow Wow at the Cherokee Village in Sterling Mass.,a good friend and brother flute player by the name of Steven Standing Owl approached me and asked if I was going to be part of the flute concert scheduled that evening. When I told him I hadnt planed on it and most importantly I dont play the flute in public he thought I was being foolish in letting an opportunity in sharing my music with the people slip away. He also emphasized the fact that we tend to be our worst critic when it came to our performances. He really gave me a talking to about that and it haunted me for months to come. Needless to say I didnt perform that night.
That was the seed that was planted by someone that I have high regards not only as a friend but as an accomplished flute player. Although having Steven ask me if I was one of the flute performers that evening was very flattering but also very confusing. By asking the question I began to process in my mind where I was going with regards to my flute playing, was it truly my path.
Steven, unlike most flute players is one of the most consistent performers Ive ever had the pleasure of listen to. If you were to listen to one of his CD tracks and then have Steven perform it live afterwards you would be hard pressed to hear any differences. Steven like myself can not read music, we play from the heart, so for someone to be as consistent in content as he, is a daunting task, one of ultimate perfection.
It wasnt till the following season that Keith Little Grizz another gifted flute player decided that it was time and literally dragged me up to the microphone and introduced me as an upcoming flute player before I could make any objections to doing so.
We performed an in prompt to duet, playing off each other, Keith was there lending support for my first public appearance. The reaction from the audience was overwhelming as often as they had heard and enjoyed flutes played by soloist it was a new experiences listening to two flutes interact as one in harmony. Grizz and I have been playing together ever since.
The long hard road to creating a CD had becoming a reality, Keith Little Grizz and I had released our first CD "Two Hearts" at the end of May 2005.
Now we are well on our way to getting our 2nd CD produced. The CD is currently untitled and we are again breaking new ground by adding the Guitar, Hand Drum, and Rattle accompaniment to our new material. We have already aperformed some of the new material in public and its getting great responses. We are hopeful in having the CD released by mid fall of 2005.
Although we write our own music and perform them as soloists our duets have become our trade mark.
Often times we have taken a newly written piece and present it to each other to see if the other can take it to a higher level. I believe that our collaboration is what gives our songs a deeper sense of passion and commitment, two hearts beating as one.
We do play live at various Pow Wows in the New England area. Playing live brings us as performers closer to the people. Our songs are written and played to share with the people. The interaction and appreciation shown by the audience is extremely gratifying and encourages us to write and perform even more. Its also a great proving ground for creating and refining our material based on that interaction. We have performed in the New England area, not only at Pow Wows but also volunteer some of our time performing for the elderly at various nursing homes, where they are unable to venture outside. We also have performed at Holiday Inns within our area.
Our influences are Native American flute players such as Jesse Red Horse, R. Carlos Nakai, Bill Miller, Steven Standing Owl, David Searching Owl, Robert Tree Cody and Coyote Old Man. Each has a very distinctive sound that truly comes from the heart.
Steven Standing Owl, many thanks to you for your direct and forceful constructive criticism that awaken a gift the creator had given me; one that I wasnt paying attention to. Till this day I still remember the very first time you picked up a flute and made it sing while visiting the Jay Ironfield store.
To David Searching Owl, words can not express the gratitude and kinship, which is felt each and every time that we meet. When given a chance to perform together, once again the Creator blesses me with a lifelong memory of an extraordinary moment as the audience responds with a resounding approval.
Thank you Jesse Red Horse for your confidence and encouragement to pursue the path of the flute, we are forever indebted to you.
Peter Searching Owl, another performing flute player that would stand off to the side as Grizz and I would perform at Charlemont and would openly voice his reactions to the material he had just heard.
He is a very astute technical performer, having a master degree in music he could pickup the subtleties we were trying to incorporate in our music.
Both Grizz and I can not read a note of music. Peter takes interest in your compositions, and is able to point out those nuances which Grizz and I dont completely understand. We dont know why we are implementing them, but we know that it feels right. Peter has been a great source of encouragement. Dont get me wrong he also lets us know when we are off the mark.
Thanks you Peter for your long standing support and encouragement.