Thursday, December 29, 2016

Healing Song for 2017: "Witchi-tai-to"


We need healing, we need it soon, and we need it for real. Jim Pepper was an accomplished Native American jazz saxophonist of Kaw-Muscogee descent. Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry urged him to draw on his roots to create his own sound. So he did. He composed "Witchi-tai-to" by adapting a traditional peyote ceremony healing song.* I've listened to it several times this week. My dream is that instead of having a child singer and a smattering of Rockettes perform at Trump's inauguration they would put this song on repeat and everyone would lose their power ties and join in a giant improvised circle dance. I visualized that and it felt good. Maybe in some parallel universe it will happen, and the bleed-through will help us out a bit. Be well.

* After the opening chant, the music kicks in at around 0:35.

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