Welcome To The Creative Act

A pro-musician making sense of the creative process within the context of his life experience.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Strangest Secret in the World

The 'Secret' spoken of in this video is really no secret. The principle has been spoken of by all the great sages, philosophers and prophets. It is a principle that has helped me to be successful. "We become what we think about". It's as simple as that and it is as challenging as that.

My experience is that people give more thought about their vacation plans or their automobile purchases than what they will do with their lives. I was on that track. Sure, the jobs I had were fulfilling in their way. However, I never gave myself the opportunity to really think about what it was that I wanted to spend my life doing. What was the one thing that deep down I really wanted to be? What was it that I really 'needed' to be?

It took an observership in a Trappist monastery where I could unhook from the world and really contemplate my true vocation for me to finally receive a vision of my mission in life. After I received it, I consistently thought about myself realizing that vision. Everyday, I would do something to make that vision into a reality. Practice and study became my discipline. Gradually, my vision has come true. I have become a musician. Not any musician, mind you. I have become a musician that is able to receive songs from the Spirit World and then offer them back to people so that they might be healed in the way that they need to be healed. This was the vision that was given to me. It has sustained me for over 22 years now. A good and powerful vision will do that...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ANDRES SEGOVIA ; Gavotte en Rondeau '67 (2/4)

This Gavotte by J.S. Bach is the first classical guitar piece that I ever learned how to play. I taught myself how to read guitar score learning how to play this one. In my naive fervor, I had reasoned that if I could learn how to play this piece of music, I could learn how to read music and I could learn to play anything. It was harder than I thought but after a couple of months of practice, I could play it! Stubbornness can be a gift!

• The Native American Code of Ethics •

Here is some good Red Road teaching that is applicable to anyone. These are great truths that transcend our differences yet manage to honor them. It's not an easy road unless the heart is open to being pierced by Creator's Love for His Creation. The Good Red Road is such a gift to humanity!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Am America

For all of her trials and tribulations, I can't think of any other place I would rather live than here in the United States of America. The land is so beautiful. There are beautiful people here, too. The freedoms which we enjoy here are rare and precious in the history of humankind. Throughout its history, there have been dark days and there have been joyous days. People have suffered at the hands of others and peoples have been liberated. Through it all, Liberty has been the elusive ideal that remains at the center of our lives as citizens of this land. The freedom to become who our Creator intended us to be is a sacred birthright won by sacrifice. Is America perfect? No. Are Americans perfect? No. No country is perfect and no people are perfect. However, America has held a promise that freedom, endowed by our Creator, can help us to achieve our individual promise thereby achieving a better union of persons. I am a human being who is an American. I feel no shame in saying it. I am very blessed to be one and to be here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flute Medicine

The flute is an amazing instrument. Actually, it is more amazing than most people realize. I have spent my life digging deep into its medicine. I believe it is a force for good in the world. However, I can't help but feel that it is being trivialized and underestimated by many, both NDN and non-NDN, and because of this it is in danger of losing its medicine.

Today, non-NDN flute players and makers vastly outnumber NDN ones mainly because NDN people, for a variety of reasons, have let go of it. Flute playing started its decline during the period of prohibition of traditional music instituted by the Federal Government during the first half of the 20th Century. The instrument of focus, for many good reasons having to do with cultural survival, became the drum. As time went on, many NDN men my age and younger chose not to be involved with the flute because they didn't want to seem like a 'stereotype'. Today, some mock those of us who are trying to keep the instrument alive because they think we are giving the white man what he wants to see. In addition, there are now so few flute players in many NDN communities that good instruction is a rarity. The prohibitions against women playing the flute in many tribes cuts the potential number of NDN players in half. These reasons and more have led to the steady decline of the flute in NDN country.

I believe the flute is more than a simple instrument. The flute, along with the drum, is a gift the Creator has given to NDN people for their survival. I feel that NDN people need to wake up because they are about to lose something very important. There are flute songs that have been created to help us and they are in the Spirit World waiting to live out their destiny in the hearts of NDN people. I have been blessed to hear some of them and I have brought them through. I can attest to their life giving power and their ability to open the human heart to Creator's strong, loving hand. Could the flute be the gift that Creator has given the people to help them to gain the inner strength to overcome drugs, alcohol, hopelessness and suicide? I want to believe this. I do believe this. The flute can be a conduit to the Spirit World where Creator sends songs to heal and strengthen His people. I wish more NDN people would take up the gift that was given to them so long ago and access its gentle power!

The flute's sacredness is to be found in its ability to change lives. Some non-NDN flute players can attest to this and this is in large measure why they have adopted it and adapted it. If flute playing makes them into better human beings, then this is something to be encouraged. If, on the other hand, flute playing makes them into a caricature, a poseur, a wannabe, a disrespecter of NDN people, then one has to question their true motives. The Creator has the job of sorting all of this out in the end. Unfortunately, the living have to deal with the offense. I ask non-NDN people to be sensitive about how they use this instrument and how they represent themselves while doing so. Experience has shown me that honesty and integrity in these matters are what honors NDN people, honors the flute and honors the songs that are patiently waiting in the Spirit World for all of us to bring them through.
~HwAn-Pi-Khaw=Ronald Roybal

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bachianas Brasileiras - No. 5 for voice and 8 cellos (193

March 5th was the 123rd Birthday of Heitor Villa-Lobos who was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1887. This is the Aria from his Bachianas Brasileiras - No. 5. I'll bet you have heard it before and wondered...what is that beautiful music and who brought it into the world? Well, now you know!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Honesty and Heritage

I am a Mestizo, a mixed blood. My Dad's Great-Grandfather on his patrilineal line left the Pueblo of San Ildefonso (Tewa) with his family in the 1870's and eventually settled in southern Colorado. By searching through the archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, I have documented my Dad's Great-Grandfather's baptism at the mission church of the Pueblo identifying him as an 'Indio' of the Pueblo. However, because my blood quantum as documented is not high enough and I no longer have family members residing in the village, I can't be enrolled. My Dad's Mother's matrilineal line is mixed blood Indian and Spanish Colonial but I have been unable to document the specific tribal relationship because of the lack of written records. Being from southern Colorado, her tribal roots were most probably Southern Ute and/or Genizaro. Genizaros were Native people taken captives as youths by other Native people and traded into slavery to the Spanish in New Mexico. I am the product of generations of mixed blood people mixing with other mixed blood people as well as families that were predominately Spanish Colonial in descent such as my Mother's family. We developed our own ways which were greatly influenced by indigenous ways of being and we have had to adapt to changing historical circumstances much like other people on the planet.

Do I find it disappointing that I can't be enrolled? Not really. I am three generations removed from life in the Pueblo. I am not a Pueblo Indian in the strict cultural sense and yet it is part of my heritage. I'm not a pure Spaniard either! However, Spanish Colonial descendents don't have enrollment issues and standards of blood quantum.

I have taken the time to learn about my heritage, both Pueblo Indian and Spanish Colonial. I like to go to Pueblo Feast Day dances, I like to visit friends at the various Pueblos who see me as a distant relative and who enjoy my company. I like to learn about Pueblo history, music, dancing, spirituality, language and other aspects of culture. I incorporate these aspects into my own life where appropriate. I do the same thing with my Spanish Colonial heritage. I am who I am and I am very interested in what has brought my soul and body to this place in time and space. I am a Mestizo, a mixed blood, and I have very deep feelings of pride and love toward all my ancestors as well as their living descendents.

I find it very important to be honest with myself and others about my cultural heritage. My cultural heritage is a treasure to me and has brought me great comfort and power. My music is a reflection of this identification with my heritage. I recommend that all people explore this aspect of their being. The guiding light in your exploration must be honesty. It's OK not to know all of the details of your heritage. Don't make things up. Don't pretend to be something you are not. It dishonors your ancestors as well as your distant relations who are sharing this time and space with you. 'The truth will make you free' is really the operative phrase in the exploration of your heritage!