Saturday, September 25, 2010


The other day, in my (temporary, while our regular offices are undergoing renovation) windowless office, while working away on some task, I was enjoying peacefully schlocky music on Pandora's "nature sounds" station. It's funny how I've grown to appreciate this pleasantly formulaic variation on the "new age" genre when I need something calm going on in the background. Usually it's just that, I notice few details and it rarely rises to the level of conscious listening. But when a Native American flute piece came on (I regret that I forget the artist's name) I had one of those out-of-body moments...well, an out-of-the-moment moment, during which I suddenly found myself browsing  souvenirs, hunting for treasure, in a national park gift shop. It wasn't any particular gift shop, or any particular national park, but the sound track was on the button. And since I love being in national parks, and on very rare occasions have found really wonderful things in national park gift shops (several in Yellowstone, for example, carry outstanding Native American jewelry), I really loved the illusion. Yes, commercialized Native American music has become iconic national park gift shop Muzak. Even if one of the most famous practitioners, Carlos Nakai, is Ute, and his ancestors probably never went anywhere near Yellowstone, or Glacier, or Olympic, or Smoky Mountain, or Everglades National Parks. 
And yes, I'd bet it does in large part account for why both KLK and I will invariably buy a t-shirt at every national park we visit.
But the association is a strong and happy one for me. Listen, enjoy, and see where it takes you. If you like it, run your cursor across the bottom of the image for more R. Carlos Nakai selections.

  Download this mp3 from

1 comment: