Interview with R. Carlos Nakai
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Written by Edie Weinstein-Moser   
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Interview with R. Carlos Nakai
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EdieWhat a waste that would be, because you are, once again, becoming an instrument of Spirit, by co-creating with it.

RC: That, and the instrument itself, become a very personal kind of expression. In Samoa, artists have an expression they use today “Miotroyo,” that means “my other self.” So music is like that, however you indulge in the fine arts, it’s an expression of the balance of one’s self. So, as a male, my understanding culturally is that I have a sensibility about myself being in the male community. The fine arts expression is a female expression that allows me balance; physically, mentally, psychologically, spiritually. The sound I produce and the effect that it will have on other people; means that there is a whole lot of responsibility that comes in at that point.


 Edie:  In what way do you see responsibility?

RC:  I have to be sure that whatever I produce is pleasing to other people that might be hearing what I’m doing it. It could be a chipmunk sitting on a rock or another human being, a cat, a dog, whatever.




 Edie:  Do you feel like there’s pressure there

 RC: No.

 Edie:  It just comes naturally?


RC: You gotta let it flow. Children do that as a matter of course. Much of it is reminding myself that I’m just a big child and someone lied to me when I was growing up and said I needed to become more ‘adult’.

Edie:  Why?

RC: I’m still trying to figure out what an adult person is.

 Edie:  You and me both. I’m 45 and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Sounds like you have a lot of fun doing what you do, in a sense, doing what Joseph Campbell called, “following your bliss”, or even better, being your bliss.

RC: Joseph Campbell had some good phrases that allude to the sense of just being oneself in the world and sharing that perspective with others. In this case, I use the sound of the flute.

 Edie: In a sense, it brings people back home to Who they truly are.

RC: It would seem so, although I get many different cards and letters from people who tell me all kinds of stories about their experiences in their lives and how the music has either accented or affected the experience in a positive manner. I can’t claim this for myself, because it is the instrument doing this, not me.

 Edie:  You are co-creating with the instrument.


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