The traditional flute music of Native Americans has been fused with rock, folk, hip-hop, African, and techno influences by Robert Mirabal. The result is a sound that the Village Voice described as "ancestral drumming and ritualistic chanting [that] create an intoxicating swirl as they intermingle with contemporary ideas and sounds."
A member of the Taos Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, Mirabal began making traditional Native American flutes at the age of 19. Borrowing money from his grandmother, he recorded a self-titled debut album in 1988. Four years later, he received a New York Dance and Performance Bessie award for the score, "Land," that he composed and performed for Japanese modern dancers Eiko and Koma. In 1996, Mirabal collaborated with Native American singer-songwriter Bill Miller on an album, Native Suite-Chants, Dances and the Remembered Earth. A collection of Mirabal's poetry, prose, and short stories was published as A Skeleton of a Bridge. His flutes have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum. ~ Craig Harris