This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Multi-Instrumentalist, Joseph "Pepe" Danza

One of my articles recently included in the Yoga Barn's newsletter:

International Musician, Pepe Danza, Brings Sacred Chants and Rhythms to the Yoga Barn

BALI, Indonesia – On May 22, 2011; Yoga Barn guests were treated to a multi-instrumental sound healing, meditation, and prayer performance from Uruguayan sound sculptor, Joseph “Pepe” Danza. Danza, a traveling musician with 35 years of world music experience, wove a mystical music-tapestry at the live recital using many instruments from various indigenous traditions.

“Wherever I would go, I would spend years trying to understand and get into the culture,” said Danza, who is a collector of over 400 instruments and is trained in the musical practices of Africa, Japan, India, and Tibet as well as his native South America.

According to Danza, his “Ocean of Sound” performance was a 100 percent improvised musical experience involving voice, woodwinds, crystal bowls, and percussion instruments, among others.

Integrating the full range of his multiethnic music gifts, Danza’s sound alternated from ethereal wavelike swells to frenetic drum solos, and he often played different musical instruments simultaneously and in unorthodox ways. Danza skillfully blended the entire range of his voice into his music: from impromptu chants to staccato rhythmic stabs.

“It’s very shamanic,” noted accompanying musician, Sparrow Deviyani, implying that Danza’s unrehearsed mystical sounds could induce powerful altered states through what Danza called a “sonic journey.”

Guests in the audience each took what they needed from the different sound modes on offer. Some sat or lay on their backs in meditative states while others moved their limbs to the rapid beats that would phase in and out of Danza’s music performance.

Pepe Danza comes to Bali and the Yoga Barn annually and will return in February of 2012. He considers Bali as “one of the highest civilizations on earth right now.” “As a whole, they live in a sacred way,” Danza said with appreciation.

As someone who honors the sacred dimensions of his own work, Danza emphasized the spiritual undercurrents that he offers, “I develop my techniques to a very high degree and then get out of the way,” he said, “I gather all these treasures in a ceremonial way.”

Danza will travel to Vancouver, Uruguay, and Mexico over the next few months. Learn more about him by visiting his website: http://www.pepedanza.com/home.html  

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