Jenn Steege – First Breath – Native American Flute Meditations (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 59:59 minutes | 946 MB | Genre: New Age
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Buffalo Jump Records
Rooted in the cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of North America, the Native American Flute has connected with people from all walks of life. With its soothing, meditative sound, the flute has become a trusted musical voice for facilitating calm, cultivating balance and inspiring self-reflection.Jenn Steege was introduced to her first Native American Flute in 2010 by an 85-year-old friend and mentor, Ethel Sickert. As Jenn is fond of saying, “The flute chose me, it was love at first breath.” Since that initial introduction to North America’s only indigenous wind instrument, playing the Native American Flute has become her passion.
Drawing upon her own contemplative outlook, Jenn brings the core meditative voice of the Native American Flute into her improvisations and musical renditions.
She performs throughout the Phoenix area, offering special music in a number of churches for services and events. Jenn also brings Native American flute to several services throughout the Valley as an ongoing ministry to the ecumenical spiritual community at large, using the flute to deepen the worship experience.
She has over 40 flutes in her ‘flute stable’ that she selects from depending on the need of the song and type of accompanying instrumentation. Each flute has a unique voice based on the flute maker’s design, the flute body material, and other factors. Her playing brings each unique voice of her flutes to her songs.
Having lived in southern Arizona for over 40 years, Jenn’s playing is directly inspired by the majestic landscapes and her explorations of the Arizona deserts. For three seasons, Jenn demonstrated and played Native American Flute as a volunteer during the popular Flashlight Tours at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. As she played, the songs of the flute drifted through the Garden, introducing attendees to the voice of the Native American Flute, while gently reminding them that we live amongst Native American peoples, the original inhabitants of the grounds we walk on.
Jenn has performed regularly at Scottsdale ArtWalk and collaborates with numerous instrumental and vocal groups throughout the Phoenix area. She gives presentations in salon settings where she demonstrates through song and conversation, with an emphasis on the responsibility of playing a deeply culturally rooted Indigenous instrument.
This album was conceived, created and recorded in Phoenix, Arizona, on the ancestral lands of the Pima/Akimel O’odham that are occupied today by many diverse nati onaliti es and cultures. First Breath is dedicated to the many and diverse tribal peoples from whom these songs originated . . . those who created and gave the songs their ‘fi rst breath’ within their parti cular tribal groups. I off er my contemplati ve version of these songs as a tribute and an honoring of the fi rst peoples of this land, who walked long before me and walk strongly in our present day. Despite the near cultural exterminati on and determined physical genocide through colonizati on of the indigenous people (of what we in our hubris refer to as North America) the nati ve peoples have generati onally protected and preserved many of their traditi ons and stories and songs . . . a testament to the deep power of their oral traditi on and rootedness to the land that is in reality, all of it theirs. As a player of this deeply culturally-specifi c instrument, it is my obligati on to become conti nually more aware of the histories and circumstances of the peoples who originated what has become the modern Nati ve American Flute. It is through that increasing awareness that my deep respect for the quiet tenacity and incredible enduring spirit of our indigenous people has brought me to a place of utt er humility concerning the generati onal trauma they carry.
First Breath is also dedicated to my dear friend and spiritual mother, Ethel Sickert. Ethel introduced me to the Nati ve American Flute and was a constant support throughout my journey with this instrument. The very fi rst songs she taught me to play were traditi onal pieces . . . beauti ful in their simplicity. She also guided me in integrati ng the practi ce of Centering Prayer into my life . . . a method of meditati on which creates space for me to connect with Source in a very personal way. First Breath expresses the fullness of the combinati on of the life-gift s Ethel gave me, joined into a single expression of grati tude and peace. Both the Nati ve American Flute and the prayer practi ce are instruments of quiet joy in my life . . . I am eternally grateful to this amazing woman, who went to her eternal home in 2019. This is an album that has been on my heart for several years . . . as the Nati ve American Flute conti nued to teach me its language and as I joined that heart knowledge with my emerging playing style. The straightf orward early traditi onal songs of the indigenous peoples speak deeply to me as they so beauti fully allow the NAF to express itself in a direct uncomplicated manner. My interpretati on of these songs is a merging of my desire to honor the source songs of the fl ute and of my desire to interpret them within a profoundly contemplati ve musical context. As we, all of us, grow in understanding and awareness, may these songs bring us healing and peace.
01. Jenn Steege – Cherokee Morning Song (08:43)
02. Jenn Steege – Zuni Sunrise (08:21)
03. Jenn Steege – Song for Grandfather (09:06)
04. Jenn Steege – Wium (12:06)
05. Jenn Steege – Night Chant (07:16)
06. Jenn Steege – Song of the World (07:53)
07. Jenn Steege – Medicine Song (06:32)