On Earth Cycles, Gary Stroutsos explores the seldom-heard voice of the desert cedar rim flute, a traditional instrument with a haunting, plaintive sound that echoes the sounds of our natural world. His instrument was replicated from intact original indigenous flutes found in northeastern Arizona's Broken Flute Cave, near Canyon de Chelly, in 1931. This simple desert flute produces tones distinct from those of classical silver concert flutes; with its limited range, it can evoke a sense of deep calmness that is ideal for meditation.
Gary has traveled extensively in the American Southwest, studying with native elders and learning their ancient songs. His music is inspired by those rare experiences.
Earth Cycles also features African udu clay pots and assorted percussion by collaborator David Revelli. "We wanted to bring the two sounds – of wind and rhythm – together, and it was a wonderful experience, in the moment, in the studio. We challenged ourselves as improvisors playing off each other."
The result is contemporary earth music that transcends musical genres. The percussion brings a quiet pulse to the listener, enhancing the range and depth of the flutes. No electronics or overdubs were used on this recording, in what was truly an inspired and organic studio conversation.