Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wisonsin Road Trip - INAFA Convention

Well about two weeks ago I set out on a tour that would end up in Wisconsin at the 2008 International Native American and World Flute Association convention. I was driving so set up a couple of gigs along the way to break up the 23-hour drive. First night I stopped at the KOA in Amarillo, Texas. It was pleasant except that it is wedged between the railroad lines and the airport. I played my flutes and Hang drum for a group of nice people and sold a couple of CD’s. I headed down to Palo Duro Canyon south of town. It is a beautiful canyon reported to be the world’s second largest canyon. The history of the Native peoples, Spaniards and outlaws who lived there is interesting. I stopped and had lunch and played my flute as a Buzzard circled overhead. Next night was in Oklahoma City. The drive between Amarillo and Oklahoma City is where time actually stops. It felt like an 8 hour drive. There is the world’s largest crucifix along the way and it is huge. Kind of surreal really.

I wanted to attend the monthly Oklahoma Flute Circle meeting in the historic Jacobson House. I did. It was a nice turnout considering it was the 4th of July. I met some really great fluties who even showed up the next night to hear my play at the Borders Books in Norman, Oklahoma. I had a great time and was grateful for the review in the previous day’s newspaper The Norman Transcript. The audience was attentive and bought quite a few CD’s. I was thinking hmmm maybe I should have brought a lot more…. I played the flute and Hang and sang and people seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards some of the people from the flute circle and I went to eat afterwards and had a really nice visit. As I was driving back to OKC there were fireworks going off everywhere and especially downtown. It was cool.

The next day I was scheduled for another show in Kansas City but as sometimes happens in the music business the person I booked with originally was several people ago. I had been trying unsuccessfully to confirm and skipped that town altogether and head on for Des Moines, Iowa. I had scheduled an extra couple of days in Minneapolis to see the Modern Art exhibition at the Walker Art Center and the Sculpture Garden next door. It didn’t disappoint. Seeing the modern art pieces up close and personal always has such an impact on me. The great restaurants, bars, lakes, coffee shops in Minneapolis’ are really fun.

The INAFA convention was pretty awesome. Between the beautiful flutes, amazing musicians, workshops and concerts I don’t think I slept much. I presented a couple of workshops as well a concert that were so much fun—and a lot of hard work. Working hard is the part that comes naturally and from the feedback and CD sales the work connected with people, something I’m always grateful for. I stayed in the dorms which did not have air conditioning, ventilation or fans and it was humid beyond what I’m used to. My dorm mates were great and we all developed a sense of camaraderie I think. I feel I made some amazing friends and that is always worth it. Some of the highlights for me were hearing Michael Allen, Joseph Firecrow, Bill Miller, Skip Healy with Mark Bachand among others. I was honored to be invited to lay down a song for the INAFA compilation CD that will be used for fundraising. A huge honor was to be included in the INAFA All Star’s concert the closing night. Sharing the stage with R. Carlos Nakai, Peter Phippen, Mark Holland, Skip Healy, Mark Bachand, N. Scott Robinson, Sara Maurer and a few others was amazing and even though I was exhausted and dripping once we got started those wild endorphins kicked in and all was fantastic.

I drove back over a couple of days listening to music and was glad to be home. Work continues on music with interviews this week and mailing out of more CD’s. I sold out of The Roswell Incident pretty quick and need to get more for my next trip to perform at the World of Fairies Festival in South Elgin, IL August 2 & 3. Here is a short slide show of some pics. I haven’t developed the film yet.

There is nothing like performing your music for people live. That exchange of energy, the interplay and suspension of time and hopefully the transcendence is meaningful. Knowing that what I’m playing will only exist in this form in this moment is precious. When they come to you afterwards and mention a specific note or word you said it is humbling and reminds me to be present and aware every time I play. As a performer you are in it “with” the audience and it is a responsibility and a privilege and I don’t take it for granted when I finish a song and people applaud. See you down the road.


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