Carlos Nakai, while Exploring the Navajo Nation

A few years ago I spent my Christmas holidays exploring the Navajo Nation and it’s surrounding areas, and it’s vastness and spirituality have left an unforgettable impression on me.  I remember how cold it was at Canyon de Chelly, which was the first place to visit,  and how I bundled up and walked around the canyon’s rim in total awe of nature’s beauty. Looking down on giant pinnacles, it felt like being engulfed by cathedrals, urging me to bow. Inside of me a silence was created that forever craves revisiting.

One late afternoon a stop was made at a trading post which is where I discovered the music of Carlos Nakai. With the already setting sun and hardly anybody on the road, all that embraced me for the next couple of hours was his soothing music, so well suited to the landscape.

Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs. (