Being an artist means living in and responding to the world around us. Being a classical music artist, however, too often means clinging to tradition and what we already know.

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and I’d like to celebrate not only the rich and fascinating array of art and culture that we have with and around us in Southern California, but the placement of that possessive apostrophe in the name. Today is not just about one set of native folks, but about all of them. There is so much to explore that every one of us is faced with a massive opportunity to learn something new.

A challenge

Dig into whatever resources you have today, and find some music that you’ve never heard before. Not sure where to start? Try YouTube. Check out your friends’ posts on social, and see what they’re doing to greet this new federal holiday. Trip through the internet a bit. You can even Wiki your way into it. Seek here, seek where you were born, seek for indigenous culture in a far-off land that you love. Just seek, as that journey is worth far more than a single day a year.

Please feel free to share what you find. This is an exercise in appreciation, funneling genuine curiosity into a chance to learn something that can change us. Let’s see if we can find some new influences, right here where we live.

Writing from the land of the Hahamog’na in the heart of what was later named Old Town Pasadena…

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