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MP3 Totem - Horses of Life

Mythic pop, Ceremonial Rock and Roll, Shamanic Alternative, World fusion.

12 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, ROCK: Progressive Rock

Genesis of Totem

To"tem, n. [Massachusetts Indian wutohtimoin that to which a person or place belongs.] A rude picture, as of a bird, beast, or the like, used by the North American Indians as a symbolic designation, as of a family or a clan.

And they painted on the grave posts Of the graves, yet unforgotten, Each his own ancestral totem Each the symbol of his household; Figures of the bear and reindeer, Of the turtle, crane, and beaver. --Longfellow.

The totem, the clan deity, the beast or bird who in some supernatural way attends to the clan and watches over it. --Bagehot.

I first met Adria as my piano student. She quit piano to immerse herself in the study and practice of Acupuncture - an intensive four-year education in the esoteric and complex world of Chinese medicine. In our discussions about her future and past, she mentioned that she was a singer, had recorded with a band, wrote songs, and played the Celtic harp. We also discovered we both had similar interests in the anthropology of religion, folklore, and the source of song. So, while making and creating all these songs she has been deep in the throes of tests, classes, and jabbing needles in people.

What was the first song? Who sang it and why? Where does a song come from? Were the first songs about influencing nature or another''s feelings? Perhaps the concept of magic was to "spell" out words and music, and wrap in one''s will the physical world. Enchantment means to be brought inside the magic of a song. How do other cultures approach the song source?

For Creation, I wandered through the Technicians of the Sacred book, and, culled ideas from a variety of cultures and traditions about The Beginning. I let the resulting text seep through my fingers. As usual, Adria understood the deeper context of the idea, and brought her awareness and vocal expertise into becoming the Weaver of Time. The movement and the Naming of the World seems a very basic need in every cosmogony.

Creation Part 1 & 2

She sweeps in her arm in a circling motion
Calls up light from the darkling ocean
In the ashes she draws an arc
Within the center she makes her mark

From her fingers spray a sultan''s treasure
Endless worlds without measure
A drop of blood encodes the light
As she forms it from the web of night

Sparkling yarn between her hands
She pulls it taut and time expands
Your beating heart now awakes to see
The Golden Garden of the Wisdom Tree.


From the caves across the steaming land
She breathes into each glowing strand
A whistling, warming wind spreads wide
The shuttle in the loom of life begins to glide.

If you listen you will hear her name
In the mountains or the deserts it''s the same,
In the oceans or the trees of pine
She is the Weaver of Time.


3 For Horses of Life is inspired by War God''s Horse Song II (by Frank Mitchell) from the Navajo. I prepared the music, not knowing exactly what should go with it, Adria came in with an idea of how to put the words to the music. She nailed it the first time, and we knew we had something special.

Horses of Life

I am the child of White Shell Woman
With their voices they are calling me,
I am the son of the sun
With their voices they are calling me,
I am Turquoise Boy
With their voices they are calling me,
I am I
From the arching rainbow, turquoise on its edge, from where it touches the earth the horses are mine

Dark stone water jars their hooves,
With their voices they are calling me,
Arrowheads the frogs of their hooves
Mirage-stone their striped hooves

Dark wind their legs
Cloud shadow their tails
Dark cloud their skins

Now the sun rises to shine
New moons their cantles
Sunrays their backstraps and
Rainbows their girths
They are standing, waiting on rainbows,
The dark-rainbow-four-footed-ones, their neck hair falling in a wave,

Sprouting leaves are their ears
With their voices they are calling me,
Great dark stars their eyes
With their voices they are calling me,
White shell their teeth

With lightning flashing in their mouths
Dark-music sounding from their mouths
They call out into the dawn
Their voices reaching all the way out to me.
Dawn-pollen is in their mouths
Flowers and dew are in their mouths

With lightning flashing in their mouths
Dark-music sounding from their mouths
They call out into the dawn
Their voices
Sunray their bridles
beautifully to my hand they come
And become my own horses
My horses of life and happiness
I am the boy of life
I am the boy of happiness.

4 Sea of Love is our first collaboration. I had been working on this song for years, and needed some new input, into which Adria willingly dove. The song began for me as a dream I had one night about a rhythm. I started working with that rhythm, and the bass and harmony slipped in effortlessly. The words started shaping themselves into how important it is to listen to your heart. The sea is the Sufi experience of Fana Falal - annihilation of self.

The Sea of Love

There''s no point in turning back
I guess I''ll have to take a different tack
I asked my heart, "What do you need?"
It said. "Follow me. I will lead."

So here I am upon Love''s shore
The stars are ripe,
But there must be more
My heart, I cannot hear you
Now I''m lost
What should I do?

I want to dive
I want to dive into the Sea of Love
I want to dive
I want to dive into the Sea of Love
I want to dive
I want to dive into the Sea of Love

"Beware the rocks upon this coast
With no guide you''ll end up as a ghost
That haunts these gloomy piers and ropes
Lovers lost without their hopes

"Fill your sails and follow me,
Miracles and wonders you will see
Lay your hands upon the helm
I''ll show you things but don''t get overwhelmed

"Feel the love breathing in the sails
Feel the love within the whales
Feel the love in the sounds of words
Feel the love in the wings of the birds"


I''m Somewhere in the Sea of Love
Moon is full and waits above
The time to dive is getting near
Within the sea I''ll disappear

So Goodby to my friends
Maybe I''ll see you again
It might do you some good
To get to know the moon

I heard the moon,
she seemed to say

"So build a boat
Come to me
When I''m above
Come to me
Upon the Sea of Love
Come to me
Upon the Sea of Love."


I heard the moon,
she seemed to say
"Why do you stand by the river
When you can dive into the Sea of Love?"
If you want to know just where I''ll be
It''s somewhere in the middle of this loving sea
But remember you can''t start
without the blessing from your heart

5 My Ka takes its source from The Egyptian Book of the Dead .

Oh my Ka, I was wrong
I should have listened when you sang
I let love fall away
And it''s too late to change

Oh my Ka, you''ve a secret to keep
So don''t give me away
The scales wait to receive my heart
The feather is weighted

I am dawned, I am dawned
A great falcon of gold
I have flown, I have flown
Over river worlds below
And my heart is brought to me
From mountains in the east
I am lit upon the prow of the sun.

6 Markut is an Altaic Shaman song, from A Shaman Climbs Up the Sky, adapted from Mircea Eliade''s Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. This, as did most of the other songs, went through several permutations, mostly removing music and vocal material, then adding the flutes and hand drum. "When I am called to treat a patient, I go into something like a trance & I compose a song, or I revive one for the occasion" (Isaac Tens, a Gitksan shaman).

Invocation to Markut, the bird of heaven

This bird of heaven who keeps
Five shapes & powerful
Brass claws (the moon

Has copper claws the moon''s
Beak is made of ice) whose

Wings are powerful &
Strike the air whose tail

Is power & a heavy wind

Markut whose left wing
Hides the moon whose
Right wing hides the sun

Who never gets lost who flies
Past that-place nothing tires her
Who comes toward this-place

In my house I listen
For her singing I wait
The game begins

Falling past my right eye landing
On my right should

Markut is the mother of five eagles

7 Jungle Law fits in with the totemic animal theme and in this case we have a serpent singing. This was originally written for my children''s album I Love Animals. The second part of the song is from Rudyard Kipling''s Jungle Book.
To create the trance-like motion of the python, I used a four-measure phrase:

The Jungle Law

Oh hear the call - good hunting all-
That keep the Jungle Law...

Silently I slide along the jungle floor
In the distance I hear tigers roar

My scaly skin reflects the moon above
My coils fit around you like a glove

Closer closer come closer to me
You''re not afraid of snakes I see

It''s time I think to have a little chat
You''ve got to know where certain things are at

You see that ball of fire in the sky?
Every day it falls to the ground and dies

And then the ones who sleep throughout the day
You''ll see them stretching in the twilight''s gray

You came into our jungle- that''s all right...
But can you make it through a jungle night?

You came into our jungle- that''s all right...
But can you really make it through a jungle night?

Now Chil the Kite brings home the night
That Mang the Bat sets free
The herds are shut in byre and hut
For loosed ''til dawn are we
This is the hour and pride and power
Talon, tusk and claw
Oh hear the call! -Good hunting all
That keep the Jungle Law
Oh hear the call! -Good hunting all
That keep the Jungle Law!

8 Gravity is the suspension of time and space. Stuck in a plane, looking out the window, thinking, remembering, forgetting a loved one, but not succeeding. If you live in the air, the laws of physics are different than on the ground. But the gravity of love remains constant.

A mile above the clouds
And I''m gazing out of the window of the plane
Suspended in the air
My heart can find no prayer without the gravity of love

I thought it would be
Easy to love
Easy to be free

Under other stars
Stars that are far from where you are

I see from this home in the skies
That I still can see
I can still see your eyes
I see your eyes

Sparks from a million years
Speed across the night
Across the night
And a thousand miles apart
We both absorb this sudden light

I see from this home in the skies
That I still can see
I can still see your eyes

I''m caught up in the blue
The unending ending view
The canvas for my dreams anew
Suspended in the air
My heart can find no prayer
Without the gravity of love

9 Hor Bokma (Don''t Look Down Upon the Earth) Is originally from an Ilahi (sufi spiritual song) by one of Turkey''s greatest poets- Yunus Emre. You can hear a sufi zikr (ceremony of remembrance) as part of the background.

Don''t look down upon the earth
You don''t know how much it''s worth
Below your feet are the highest souls
Ten Thousand prophets lie beneath.

The first one: conscious, self-aware
Learned the names, under Eden''s care
Gave it up for all the world
The Prophet Adam lies beneath

Allah''s lover, best of friends
Healed the sick and help them mend
Sultan of all the prophets and saints
Muhammed lies beneath.

Yunus you will also die
Buried below the earth and sky
There''s a lot of hypocrites
Stuck inside the best of crypts.

10 La Paloma (The Dove) was written for a beloved friend as she passed through some heart-rending changes, and came out stronger.

La Paloma

For the first time
With her wings unfurled
For the first time
She flies into the morning light

For the first time
With her new wings
For the first time
She hears her heart is singing Love

La Paloma, La Paloma
Wing your way back home
La Paloma
La Paloma
Fly, pretty bird

For the last time
She says goodby
For the last time
She''ll never see that cage again

With her heart awake
With the love she knows
A last look back
And then she flies above the mountain snows


With a pure heart
Like a compass
A new course is set
That takes her to her sweet lover

And her children
Her dear children
And her children
Fly along and laugh with her


For the first time
With her wings unfurled
For the first time
She flies into the morning light

For the first time
With her new wings
For the first time
She hears her heart is singing Love

11 The Burning is from a section of The Flight of Quetzalcoatl from the Aztec Epica Nahuatl. The founder of the Aztec culture, Quetzalcoatl departs, dies, and is reborn as the rising star.

The Burning

It ended on the beach
It ended with a hulk of serpents
Formed into a boat
And when he made it, sat in it
And sailed away.
A boat that glided on those burning waters
No one knowing when
He reached the country of Red Daylight
It ended on the rim of some great sea
It ended with his face reflected in the mirror of its waves
The beauty of his face returned to him
And he was dressed in garments like the sun
It ended with a bonfire on the beach where
He would hurl himself
And burn, his ashes rising and the cries of birds
It ended with the linnet, with the birds of turquoise
Colors, birds the color of wild sunflowers, red and blue birds
It ended with the birds of yellow feathers in a
Riot of bright gold
Circling till the fire had died out
Circling while his heart rose through the sky
It ended with his heart transformed into a star
It ended with the morning star
With day and evening
It ended with his journey to Death''s Kingdom
With seven days of darkness
With his body changed to light
A star that burns forever in that sky.

12 Coda
The worm Ourobouros signifies the unending cycle of life and death. The end is the beginning.

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