The Journey of "Calling The Sacred" (by Denean)
It has been an incredible journey and I want to share tidbits of that journey with you here. I figured out a long time ago that when I create, my job is simply to "show up". It is not my job so much to define what an album is going to be. If I do that, I just get in the way. Many years ago, when I was in Nashville, writing country/pop songs, the creative process was quite different. Then it was more an externalized writing process. But at around 1989-1990, after facing some life or death challenges, I opened myself to Spirit in a way I never had before...and Spirit responded.
When I dedicated my life and my path to music for healing and nourishing the soul, the music changed, my voice changed, and the creative process itself changed and expanded. That's when I came to understand my part in the greater creative process that happens through me. For instance, back in the beginnings of "Calling The Sacred", I thought it would be called "Hands of Dancing Light". Well, that song is now on a completely different album (Reikidama). Then I thought it would be called "Children of the Seventh Generation". But as it all unfolded, the music began to show me what it's form was meant to be. Only towards its completion, when I realized that "Calling The Sacred" was really the intention and energy of the whole album, did the inspiration come to make it a "theme" throughout the album that would bring it all together. It was only at that moment that I saw what it's form was meant to be. I must say that for me, those moments are very humbling.
My job is to sculpt frequencies and vibrations, given by Spirit, into a form that expresses that Spirit. I have always thought that the Lakota language is a beautiful expression. As I began to learn more words and phrases to communicate, I was guided to use the language in my musical expression in a way that, to my knowledge has never been done...not only as a language but as tone and frequency. Wanikiya, for example, is sort of a Lakota "Ave Maria". The translation goes: "Wanikiya (which means Life Giver and is the Lakota word used for Jesus)...Thank you. I have calmness. Great Spirit, Grandfather! Yes, I have calmness. Wanikiya, Thank you. I have calmness. Wanikiya, Oh Wanikiya, Thank you."
I was given a message a few years ago by Spirit saying that I would be creating dance music. I really had no idea what kind of dance music I would be creating and I was quite puzzled by that piece of information. So I just let it go, as it's not something I could force, nor would I want to. Still, it was puzzling...and then..."Joy Dancing" happened. Oh, I love that song!
When I've performed...seems a lot of folks love that song :-)
Sometimes we can get too serious in spiritual matters and we can just get too serious about life, especially in these crazy/wonderful times we are in. So "Joy Dancing" is about remembering to celebrate life...to dance, to sing, to pray and to play and have fun! Oh, how we so need to remember how to do that.
The creative process, for me, manifests in a variety of ways that certainly keeps it all interesting. Sometimes songs come in dreams, sometimes melodies come on the wind, and sometimes I just find myself singing the song as though it had always been there. It's more like receiving the songs, or catching them than anything else. Like I said earlier, my job is simply to "show up".
Here is one last little tidbit: in production you go through countless versions of songs, edits and changes etc. just to get to the final master. One day, just as I was sure this was the final version and it was complete, I happened to look down at the total album length. It was 1:11:11. That was my sign...I knew I really was done. "1" is the first hexagram of the I Ching and
represents the Creative!
I hope you have enjoyed this little window into the creative process behind "Calling The Sacred". As always, the music is the expression of my spiritual journey and I feel blessed to have a way to share the experience of that journey through sound.
Mitakuwe Oyas'in, (translation: We are all related)
"In the creation of "CALLING THE SACRED", Denean has taken years of instruction in Lakota music and language to a sacred space. I hear the angels and sacred beings that communicate with our world through her vocals and musical arrangements in this new work. I recommend "CALLING THE SACRED" to any individual who wants a little help touching one's own sacred being. It is a breath of fresh air and a good dance with the divine." HOWARD P. BAD HAND - A Lakota Song Man, Spiritual Teacher and Sun Dance leader.