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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RC: I’m just doing what it wants to do in the moment.

 Edie:  Do you find that it carries over into other aspects of your life?

RC:  I don’t know.

 Edie: Something to think about.

RC: I’ll probably be very frustrated at that point.

Edie:  The bio on your website references a kind of musical fusion that you play, called “synthacousticpunkarachiNavajazz”. You kind of veer off the traditional path too.

RC: Well, you know, there are many kinds of traditions. I live in the contemporary world where tradition is being implemented every day.

Quotation I live in the contemporary world where tradition is being implemented every day. Quotation
The influences of the music and art that surround me also encourage me to keep up with change, rather than being stuck in the past, which is what anthropologists and musicologists would like me to do. Sort of like growing up, like in this case, on a farm but realizing that there is a greater world than the acres of land that surround oneself. There’s a lot to experience out there beyond the norm.

 Edie: You are definitely being tapped by the mainstream world to offer your music.

RC: Yeah, more or less.

 Edie:  What legacy do you want to leave?  How would you like to be remembered?

 RC: Nothing. There’s nothing I need to be remembered about. So when I’m burning up in that little stove at the end of it all, spiritually I am going to be continuing a journey. That’s the part that intrigues me.

 Edie:  And the music’s going to continue to do what it was doing anyway.

RC: It will travel on and be whatever it tends to be at that point and I’m sure that people will keep making money with it at that point. It’s all going to be reiteration of an archival work.

 Edie:  Is there anything you would like to be in the interview that we haven’t touched on?

 RC: The only thing is, in order to truly access what I do, individuals need to reflect on moments of time before they get there, how they came to be a multi-cultural being. What I talk about in my performances is the sense of utilizing that awareness, of trying to express myself musically, and about how I see myself. Placing oneself in the center of one’s own existence.

R. Carlos Nakai’s website is .

  1. This article was reprinted with permission from New Visions Magazine, .

Edie Weinstein-Moser
About the author:

Edie Weinstein-Moser, LSW is a social worker, interfaith minister, writer, speaker and clown, who finds that the peace she discovers on the yoga mat follows her off the mat. She can be reached via her website at or 215-249-9190.



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