"Music and the Cycles of Life" has as its primary aim to help record and preserve the ancient musical heritage of indigenous peoples, who have depended for millennia on oral tradition to transmit knowledge, history, and beliefs. Because culture is an intangible, living legacy that depends on continuity, it is extremely fragile. With the encroachment of modern civilization and global homogeny, how long ancient wisdom will endure is in question. Miss a generation and the collective memory may become obscure; miss two and it will vanish. This project aims to document the majesty and diversity of ancient tribal music before it disappears.
Secondly, these films, recordings, and images strive to offer an integrative understanding by interweaving excerpts of musical rites with montages of people, practices, arts, and landscapes. A wealth of musical examples can be experienced in context with ceremonial practices, daily life, and the environment that shapes these, exposing viewers to the incredible multiplicity of the peoples that share our planet. By giving voice to cultures that may seem remote, the intention of this project is to contribute to knowledge of the world that transcends borders.
Finally, this project is unique in its scope of recording the drama of human life from cradle to grave. Certainly there are other works that document the music of native peoples, other films that record one-off performances, whether in the field or temple. Nowhere however has a cyclical account been presented that reveals the unfolding of a life as it is surrounded and shaped by music - a story familiar to us all, be it in different traditions. By following the arc of life, a collective blueprint is created which the viewer can use to identify with others - beginning with a mother’s lullaby and finding resolution in the lamenting dirges of a village in mourning. The commonalities of the human heart are then recognized amidst the differences of societal customs.
As a violinist and music teacher, I am keenly aware that music is able to touch us in profound and mysterious ways. My training in Western classical music though left me with some sobering realizations. Somehow I was missing the primal beat that could move me in my deepest core and that resonated the ancestral melodies of my own tribe. It also became apparent how few people actually make music anymore in my culture. For most, music has become a spectator experience that is non-participatory.
When I took a foreign study course in Marrakech some years ago I witnessed the wildly original ways that different peoples express themselves through sound and how these are completely interwoven with their communities throughout their lives. I decided to seek these out and devote myself to documenting world music.
May this site be a window into the world of traditional hilltribe peoples, who live close to the earth, in synchronicity with the seasons, and with lifestyles little changed over the centuries. You will find photographic galleries, audio and video media clips, as well as text that will introduce you to the tribal cultures that the Resonance Project has visited. Please enjoy the sounds and sights of the amazing people who have graced my path.