“The River resides somewhere beyond the intersection of ceremony and show biz, at a place where multicultural collaboration becomes sacred art.” — The Seattle Times
The River is a journey in instrumental virtuosity, song, and storytelling, inspired by Water as the embodiment of Spirit and essential to life on Earth. This program continues an eight-year collaboration between ETHEL and Robert Mirabal, the renowned Native American flutist, instrument builder, and three-time GRAMMY® Award-winner.
Audiences are immersed in a flow of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes timeless Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry. As delivered by these master performers, the effect is breathtaking, even ecstatic. From “An Kha Na” to “Peace Calls,” through rushing rapids and still, sacred spaces, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal evoke the magic and majesty of The River which connects us all.
The River was workshopped at The Hermitage Artist Retreat (FL) and at Denison University (OH). The project was brought to life on the Taos Pueblo, at Mirabal’s home. Each artist brought original music or poetry with special significance. These included Mirabal’s “An Kha Na” and his tribal “Wi-Wa”; Kip Jones’s “Jay-Red” and “TSOMA”; Dorothy Lawson’s “Gat’té”; and Ralph Farris’s “Rana Run” and “Tsintskaro Memory”; and the collective “Tuvan Ride.” As the Rio Pueblo rushed past the door, and storms came and went, and coyotes howled in the night, the artist’s compositions grew in scope and depth as each player contributed layers and insights. Influences were drawn from Hawai’i, Arizona, Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, and the Republic of Georgia.
In concert, the experience is dazzling and the spirit full of generosity, love, and gratitude as we find our hearts healed, and our hopes raised, by The River.