Native Rock and Roller Paul Pike has always been a fan of the flute.
Once Pike learned of the Native American flute’s place in traditional Mi’kmaq culture, he knew he had to add the Native American instrument to his repertoire.
“It was such an amazing instrument,” he said of the Native American flute, which is most often made from cedar or some other wood.
It is traditionally known as Pipukwaqn and used by Indigenous groups across North America.
Pike believes his latest solo project, Echoes of our ancestorsis the first album to feature primarily Native American flute in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“He was kept alive through the stories of Mi’kmwesu…they were recorded by elders on old wax cylinder recordings,” Pike told CBC News on Thursday.
“It’s an instrument that just has a capability, it’s almost like the heart speaks loud, loud and clear and I was just intrigued by that.”
LISTEN | Paul Pike joins CBC’s Heather Barrett for a first listen on AM weekend:
AM weekend22:28Paul Pike and his fans are drawn to the sound of the Native American flute
Pike said American flautist R. Carlos Nakai, who signed with him to Canyon Records, inspired him to explore the instrument.
Pike puts the flute at the center of the album, but also features guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and the nature sounds of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I think it’s the indigenous part, that connection to the land. Whether it’s our language or the music, everything draws from that,” he said.
Pike hopes to do more with the Native American flute in music across the province in the future, although it has already featured on some singles released in recent months.
He said he was happy to have added the instrument to his own repertoire.
“I wanted to know as much [as I can] about the instrumentation, so that if it was 3am and I needed a bassist or needed something, I could do it, instead of having to rely on d ‘other people,’ he said.
“It was just a way for me to get the ideas out of my head and my heart and put them into a recording.”
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