Just Plain Folks Music Awards WINNER for ALBUM OF THE YEAR - 2006 & nominated song of the year for The Gathering. (Native American genre catagory)
Description: You have known Michael Searching Bear for his wonderful hand-crafted Searching Bear Flutes in the past. Now enjoy the wonderful tones of his flutes and musical background with his new CD release, "Voice From Within".
"Voice From Within" has a variety of emotions which will take you on your wonderful journey within. 18 songs fill this release which is instrumented with solo flute and an array of percussion and natural sounds.
The solo voice of Windwalker, Michael's sister, is a special highlight celebrating the beauty of the Cherokee language. All original recordings went into this journey which was mainly written and inspired by the Cherokee Trail of Tears journey in the 1830's. As Michael put it, "I was in mourning when I conceived this music. It is truly a journey from track 1 to track 17. See if you can feel it and come join in the journey." The final track is a duet with Windwalker and Michael which was captured in it's entirety with a fire being the atmosphere. " I wanted to capture the purity of the instrument," states Bill Hartzell, recording engineer for the project.
Artist biography: Michael Searching Bear Smallridge is the owner/craftsman of Searching Bear Flutes. Michael is an accomplished musician who's love for music and search for his native heritage led him to the Native American Wood Flute. With over 34 years of experience as both a performance and studio musician, as a drummer and percussionist, Michael developed his talents and perfected his gift for mastering intricate rhythms. He later mastered the electric, acoustic and classical guitars and desired to incorporate as many different types of instruments as possible into his recording compositions - especially Native instruments.
Michael began incorporating the flute into his music in 1996. Of Cherokee and Powhatan descent, Michael desires to keep the craft alive and pass on the traditions of the flute. Nearly a lost art, the Native American Wood Flute is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The haunting melodies and soothing tones have found a wide and accepting audience in today's hectic society. As a musician, Michael takes special care to ensure that each flute he makes possesses quality in tone and key. Michael's passion and interest has always been in the music arena. He is indeed a perfectionist and feels it lends well to this craft.