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Friday, September 23, 2016

ETHEL + Robert Mirabal, The River

A beautifully cosmic folk new music comes pouring out of my speakers as I listen to ETHEL + Robert Mirabal's The River (Innova 946). It is the product of a seven-year collaboration between Pueblo artist Mirabal and the celebrated quartet. The music is recorded on location not far from the Pueblo River at Robert's home in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. All sing and play miscellaneous instruments along with of course the strings and Robert's words, voice, flutes and didgeridoo. Robert's family join in on some vocals.

Postmodernism and Native American tradition come together for a collection of songs variously composed over time or in-the-moment by all concerned in one way or another, a meditation on the marvelous spiritual qualities of water in motion, the river, of nature and its legacy.

It is music of great strength and beauty, a meeting of a marvelous string quartet that carries with it a history and a Native American man who has song in him from an equally long (perhaps longer) and remarkable history.

It is music that moves me beyond simple words. And now that I've relocated to a spot much closer to nature, it feels like these are a set of anthems I might live my life against.

Simply beautiful. Startlingly so!

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