Mystic Voices Soaring
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Renowned flutist James Pellerite performs commissioned works for the Native American flute.

Flutist James Pellerite, having retired from a highly successful career as performer and teacher, became captivated in the 1990s by the Native American flute, and has now virtually single-handedly reinvented the playing of the instrument by commissioning dozens of composers to write for it. The resulting new works have necessitated Pellerite to develop new techniques for the instrument. His legacy for the instrument is both an entire body of literature and the development of techniques necessary to perform the new works. This recording is intended to showcase the Native American flute in its ability to blend in and contrast with a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles in a range of contemporary styles. It is hoped that the listener will gain a new appreciation of this instrument through the disparate approach to writing for it by the six composers whose music is featured here, and the artistry brought to these works by James Pellerite, the man who re-imagined the Native American flute.
Don Freund, composer
Medicine Wheel
James Pellerite, Native flute; Arwen Myers, soprano; Laura Beckel Thoreson, mezzo-soprano

John Heins, composer
Nature Story
James Pellerite, Native flute; Logan Strawn, viola; Cole Tutino, cello

Justin Rubin, composer
Breath of Life
James Pellerite, Native flute; Karen Evans Moratz, flute; Logan Strawn, viola; Cole Tutino, cello

Marilyn Bliss, composer
Wind Songs
James Pellerite, Native flute; Amanda Russo, mezzo-soprano

John Heins, composer
James Pellerite, Native flute; Cole Tutino, cello

William Hill, composer
Mystic Cadenzas
James Pellerite, Native flute

James Aikman, composer
Great Spirit
James Pellerite, Native flute; George Shirley, narrator

"…Mystic Voice Soaring takes the listener in a totally new direction. Pellerite, infamous for his meticulous, demanding, and uncompromising teaching, is evidently even tougher on himself; his performances here, absolutely grounded in the wester classical music tradition, give no hint of the challenges presented by playing an instrument that inherently has substantial intonation challenges…The CD features a respected selection of composers, and each work has something distinctive and interesting to impart…If you love the sound of the Native American flute, this highly recommended CD further confirms the virtuosity of trail-blazer Native American flutist James Pellerite." (The Flutist Quarterly)

“The new CD contains a number of works for the Native American flute that [James] Pellerite commissioned and offers proof the gentle virtuoso has not only become the in-strument’s major practitioner but also managed to build a repertoire for its renewed life. …The music seems all out in the wide open, with the sounds of the native flute magically prominent.” (Indiana University)
Pellerite's artistry on the Native American flute is sui generis, and anyone interested in exploring the fascinating sounds of this instrument must become acquainted with his mastery of it. The present CD, with the solid playing and singing by the assisting artists, is as good a place as any to begin your discovery of this instrument, if you have yet to come under its spell. Firmly and enthusiastically recommended. (Fanfare)
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