November 30, 2010
Hello from our new home in Santa Fe. We relocated here from Topanga in August and are loving our new surroundings. It was a chilly 20 degrees this morning while we were walking our new red-tick coon hound Jack, a sweetie we fell in love with at our local shelter. There is snow on the mountains and a very blue sky surrounding us.
We are happy to announce our Mystic Journey Bali Retreat, March 27-April 1, 2011 and invite you to join us! Mystic Journey will be performing at the Bali Spirit Festival, March 23-27 (www.balispiritfestival.com) and will stay on for the next six days at a beautiful retreat center on a sacred river. We will share this experience with a small group of new and old friends (you?) while we visit magical sites on the island, rejoice with lots of live Mystic Journey music, meditate under the stars, do yoga, eat gourmet meals together...heal, celebrate life and feel bliss in one of the world's most magical places with ...Beautiful Bali.
Please visit our Bali Retreat page: www.mysticjourney.net/bali
And we're please to share the news that our dear friend Soula Saad's film "Beirut Rising" was recently awarded the Best Documentary Award by the Women's International Film and Television Awards 2010. Gilbert and I wrote the music for the film and will be releasing some of these tracks in the near future.
As we journey into the darker days and colder nights, may you be safe, healthy and happy.
Suzanne, Gilbert & Mystic Journey
January 27, 2009
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese Year, the year of the Ox! May this be a great year for everyone!
Yes, we're working on the next CD, playing some new instruments, creating new sounds, thanks for your patience! It’s sounding great.
If you want to be part of the journey with us, we've got a new fundraising tool on our site...all you have to do is click onto the link right here for Shop to Earth (there is also a link on our home page). From there you can access hundreds of retailers and do your regular shopping on their regular websites. Shopping through our portal will give us cash back on your purchases, anywhere from 1-30%! If you shop green, the minimum cash back is 15%!
Many thanks to Jamil Taylor and The Dwyer family for their generous donations to help with the many costs of producing our cds - hiring the highest quality musicians, engineers, graphic artists, etc. If you're interested in helping, just send us an email, we're grateful for all of your support, no matter if it's financial or just kind words, it means a great deal to us!!
Our spring season is starting and we've got some fun shows lined up. We're especially excited about an exciting 2 week tour to Indonesia that will bring the band to Bali and Java performing at festivals and presenting workshops for music students and villagers alike.
The Zion Flute and Drum festival will be wonderful as well, what a spectacular setting!
We're uploading photos from our memorable show in the fall at the Madrid Theater that was part of the World Festival of Sacred Music and we have beautiful video footage that we plan to edit and upload soon.
Times are challenging for most of us, but they are also exciting and so full of hope. We hope that you are staying healthy, and safe...are making time to be with friends...time to dance and celebrate life...time to dream, to smile, to enjoy the amazing sky above us!
Sending love and very best wishes to you and thank you for sharing in the Mystic Journey with us!!
Suzanne, Gilbert & Mystic Journey
July 9, 2008
Dear Mystic Journeyers,
It's been a while since I've written a newsletter...Hi, and thanks for visiting! It is now summer time and we're getting ready to go up to Northern California for our annual visit to the redwoods and to give a world music presentation to the campers at Cazadero Music Camp. This camp is the reason I'm playing the flute today. My three sisters and I all attended this camp when we were kids and three of us worked there later on. Now it's the next generation's turn. All but one of Miles' cousins have been campers and the older ones have all worked there as well. It's a very special place.
If you're interested in reading more about my own personal journey to becoming who I am, I've written my first published article which appears in the winter issue of The Flutists Quarterly, the publication for the National Flute Association for the column The Inner Flutist . Writing this was a powerful and healing experience for me.
Let’s see, what are some highlights of the past six months...we had a great tour in Texas in the spring. Gave world flute workshops at the the Shepherd School of Music in Houston and the University of Texas, Austin and got to see my dear flute friends whom I’ve know for decades, Leone Buyse , my mentor and most important and influential flute teacher, Jennifer Keeney , one of the sweetest people in the world, and Marianne Gedigian , with flying fingers and a fantastic laugh! All amazing women and musicians! Thanks to my sponsor YAMAHA for helping to make these workshops happen. I love my YAMAHA flutes and they are such an amazing supporter of music in education!
Some notable projects: Played (and sang!) on the Live Survivor show on CBS (supposedly seen by 70 million people worldwide). Played the main theme on the Prince of Persia video gamesoundtrack (Inon Tzur), played on a lovely piece produced by David Gregoli for the newly released Kuan Yin compilation (Sounds True). Gilbert and I created some music for our very dear friend Soula Saad’s new film on the musical protests in Lebanon. This is a powerful film made by a great filmmaker.
Also, we had a fun spring full of great local shows: Topanga Earth Day Festival, Santa Monica Earth Day Festival, Bonsorte Studio, WorldFest (great vegan, animal rights , Green festival),openings for our friends’ green store in Topanga, blessings of babies, libraries, healings for the earth, for ourselves…so grateful to be able to spread love through our music!)
Our cds are now distributed throughout Australia by a fabulous company Resonanz Recordings who is hoping to bring us out there to tour. We’d love that and we love them!
Also, the fantastic Native American flute maker Brent Haines of WoodSounds gifted me with the most incredible double flute made of curly birch inlaid with turquoise. It is stunning and we hope to have clips and photos up soon.
Noteworthy upcoming news: we will be featured in the upcoming World Festival of Sacred Music this fall. This will be our fourth time appearing at this festival that was created around the vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1999. Our concert on September 27th will be at the beautiful Madrid Theater in Canoga Park, California.
We will be featured on the cover of the next issue (September ’08) of Topanga Magazine and we’re going to be creating an exciting live album!
So stay in touch, be well, and have fun!
In gratitude and with love,
Suzanne, Gilbert and Mystic Journey
December 12, 2007
It’s a chilly morning here in Topanga. I’m bundled up in three sweaters drinking my tea. Funny to imagine we were just in sunny Hawaii wearing our shorts and tank tops. We had a wonderful six-concert tour on Oahu and Maui at venues ranging from Hawaii Public Radio and community colleges in Honolulu to local benefits on the remote side of Maui in magical Hana. We made wonderful friends and had great times playing for such appreciative audiences. Plus, what a paradise Hawaii is. We swam in sacred pools, climbed a crater (Miles loved that), hiked in jungles and played in the ocean. Ahhh…here are our photos (link).
We’re happy to announce that we were just awarded the Los Angeles Music Awards Best New Age/Ambient Artist of 2007! (link: http://www.losangelesmusicawards.net/maine.html) We are also currently finalists for the Independent Music Awards. (link: http://www.musiciansatlas.com/pages/IMAFinalist/AlbumFinalist.aspx?yr=2008) The winners should be announced later this month…
This Sunday, December 16th , 7:00pm, I’ll be playing in the band for the Survivor Live Finale show. I’ll be playing Chinese flutes and my wonderful new Hulusi, a great gourd instrument recently given to me by our friends Richard and Anna. What a wonderful sound it has!
Finally, you can view footage (link: http://staytunedtv.com/subpagetemplate.php?art_id=90) of our concert at the beautiful Ford Amphitheater here in LA. It’s been beautifully filmed and edited by Soula Saad, John Kuri and our friends at the amazing website staytuned.tv. check them out, they are awesome!
Gilbert and I recently completed the music for the documentary 2-disc DVD Raw for Life, the accompanying dvd for the feature film Raw for 30 which is a fascinating look at the raw food diet and lifestyle. (link http://www.rawfor30days.com) and we’re happy to let you know that we’re recording our next CD which is going to be an exotic sensual groove album!!
And last, if you haven’t already done so, check out our myspace (link: http://www.myspace.com/suzanneteng) page. It’s full of easy to view photos and a lovely background painting by Miles!
So, until next time, we wish you a wonderful Holiday, a time of peace, good health, lots of fun and laughter, good food, love and light!
Suzanne, Gilbert, Miles & Mystic Journey
May 24, 2007
December 4 , 2006
I hope you are enjoying the crisp air and powerful winds of fall. They are blowing wildly here in Topanga right now…ringing the wind chimes, making the trees dance, and even the hawks are having fun floating in the drifts…
We’ve got lots of new photos up for you to view. This summer we performed at the Church of Truth ‘s Wellness Festival. The following month they hosted one of my Native American Flute workshops and we had a large and wonderful group who are now happily breathing their own music into the world!
Earlier this fall we had a great trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico where we visited our dear friends Elizabeth and Roland and their beautiful daughter (and my goddaughter) Sophia Noelani. We gave a concert and a flute workshop in their wonderful studio gallery. To view Roland’s incredible paintings, please visit http://www.rolandvanloon.com.
We were also pleased that our song “Babylonians” from MILES BEYOND was nominated for the 2006 JUST PLAIN FOLKS AWARDS Best Asian Song Award. This wonderful grassroots music organization’s primary directive to their judges in every round (6 of them!) is “Does it Move You?” There were over 350,000 entries from over 70 countries for 67 categories and we were the only finalist in our category from outside of Asia!
A very interesting German website called Tokafi – Discovering Your Music asked me 15 very thoughtful questions about my views on music…to read the interview go to: http://www.tokafi.com/15questions/15-questions-to-suzanne-teng/view
Some exciting projects are underway. Our dear friend and former string player (but always a Mystic Journeyer) Fritz Heede is producing a new trance/dance album with Jon Anderson of YES. Gilbert has laid lots of incredible percussion tracks and I’ll be going into the studio soon to add my flute touches. We’ll keep you posted on the spring release of this wonderful album.
And in March, we head to the Hawaiian islands for a four-island tour full of concerts and workshops. Details will be posted soon.
May this Holiday Season bring you together with your loved ones for a time of peace, love and true happiness!
With our love and blessings,
Suzanne, Gilbert, Miles and Mystic Journey
July 25, 2006
It's a hot, hot day here in Topanga and I've got a quiet moment to write until I go pick up Superman (Miles' new persona) from Children's Corner camp. Our newest CD Enchanted Wind is now available and we've been getting great feedback from people. It's a very peaceful album and I really love when people take the time to slow down and listen deeply and really experience the sacred journey. Please feel free to share your experience with us, we love to hear from you all!
We've been fortunate to be able to have some wonderful vacations with family members lately. We've posted photos of our spring Puerto Vallarta trip and our recent Italy/Greece/Turkey trip. Memories that stand out from this amzazing part of the world are: viewing the rising of a deep orange MOON from the ship while floating in the Aegean Sea…the breathtaking forum and coliseum at sunset, in Rome…the beautiful medieval streets of the Trastevere district in Rome…the stunning blue sea and creamy white buildings in Mykonos and Santorini and the beautiful skyline of Istanbul with the call to prayer sounding fully from all directions.
We now have lots of new fun Turkish instruments to learn, and look forward to sharing them with you soon!
Until next time, be well and happy and keep smiling!
Suzanne, Gilbert and the Mystic Journey gang
May 16, 2006
We are thrilled to announce the release of Enchanted Wind: flute meditations for the heart and soul! This has been something I've personally wanted to do for many years and the right time finally came. We are so pleased with this album. It is really an expression of what I hope to do with my life -- that is, to offer music to the world that touches the heart and heals the mind, body and soul. We hope that you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback!
This winter has been a time of reflection and change - one change being that the lineup of our band has evolved, and we'd like to acknowledge Fritz Heede, our dear friend and wonderful string player for many years, who is moving on from Mystic Journey to spend more time with his film scoring and traveling. Fritz, we love you!
And we now welcome some new wonderful musicians who will grace us with their magic at our CD release concert on June 3rd at Golden Bridge Yoga in Hollywood. Along with our great string bass player Barry Newton, Dann Torres (oud, guitar and electric sitar), Jamie Papish (percussion), Victor Bisetti (percussion, from Los Lobos) and Andrew Werderitsch (didge) joined us at our Earthday celebration concert in April and we rocked the place! What a blast we had.
Many of these folks will be with us on the 3rd as well as the wonderful Lisbeth Scott (amazing voice on Munich, Narnia, Passion of Christ soundtracks) who will sing with us (yahoo!) and play harmonium and zither. And, last, but not least, my longtime friend and musical collaborator Bobbie Jo Curley will bless us with her divine harp playing. Bobbie played the most heavenly harp track on "Above the Clouds," the second cut on our new CD, ahhhh .
Wishing you a wonderful spring, good health and happiness!
Suzanne and Gilbert
January 10, 2006
Another highlight of the fall was having my alto flute playing featured on a national commercial for Kleenex. Check it out: Here.
Well, until we meet again, we are wishing you a love-filled happy and healthy New Year!
Suzanne, Gilbert & Mystic Journey
August 27, 2005
I hope you've all had a wonderful summer. Ours has been nice. We've settled into a new home here in Topanga and we spend a lot of our time outside with our neighbors as the kids ride their bikes. It's a very sweet feeling watching our little guy grow up.
We've had some wonderful shows this summer. One in particular pushed us to write some new music, which turned out to be very rewarding. We were asked to represent Modern Chinese music at the Levitt Pavilion Summer Series . We had two beautiful guest dancers perform with us, Ruby Karen and Desi Djivan. We'll have both photos and video posted soon. They were spectacular. And an incredible master Chinese musician Cynthia Hsiang performed with us on the Gu Zheng, the Chinese zither. We will definitely be recording these new songs, they are very lovely and special. The Chinese press did extensive coverage on the concert and it was fun to see articles written on us in Chinese. Take a look at what the China Daily News had to say.
We are now preparing for one of our biggest and best shows ever, which is very exciting. We're honored to be part of the 2005 World Festival of Sacred Music Los Angeles (September 17 to October 2) which is 1,000 artists and 43 sacred events of music and movement over 16 days, in venues all over the Los Angeles area -crossing neighborhoods, cultural, religious and ideological boundaries in the spirit of world peace.
We will be performing on September 24th at the Ford Amphitheater which is a dream come true. This is one of the nicest venues in Los Angeles, set in the Hollywood hills surrounded by trees and is a great place to see a concert. The sound is wonderful and every seat has a great view. We are thrilled to have performing with us an array of spectacular musicians including Prince Diabate (kora, voice, kirin), Malik Sow (African percussion), Djelimady Kouyate (balaphone - a rare US performance by this world class Guinean musician), Naser Musa (oud), Andrew Werderitsch (didgeridoo), Armen Chakmakian (keyboards), Johnny Sandoval (Latin percussion), Bobbie Jo Curley (Celtic harp) and Ian Roy (flute harmonies). Plus, to top it off, Lexi Pearl's MoMomentum Dancers will be performing a fully choreographed piece called "Dance of the Phoenix" and Andrew and I will be dancing with them! We debuted a very informal improvised version of the piece at this year's Topanga Days and it was a blast. Check out our photos and video!! (coming soon).
Other bits of news worth mentioning: Gilbert and I both performed extensively on our dear friend Nijole Sparkes' debut cd "Parallel Universe." Nijole is a creative singer/songwriter and wife of our beloved string player, Fritz Heede. Check it out!
We also performed at two benefit concerts for the World Festival of Sacred Music and their photographer took some great photos . The evening concert at the Malibu Pueblo was a memorable experience. It was past Miles' bedtime by the time it was our turn to perform. He did not want to leave my side, so I performed the entire set with him on my lap! Yes, motherhood and music do mix!!
More beautiful photos to view by Helene Barbara (from our Levitt Pavilion show on July 21) .
That's it for now. Thanks for visiting and we send you all our very best wishes.
Suzanne, Gilbert & Mystic Journey
May 11, 2005
We've just returned from a wonderful trip in the south and feel that southern drawl still gracing our ears and tongues. I find it surprisingly easy to speak as if I was from Alabama…perhaps in a past life.
Gilbert and I were featured performers at MUSICAL ECHOES, an amazing 5 day festival called a Native American Flute Gathering and Cultural Event held at Fort Walton Beach (beautiful place). We had such a great time making new friends such as Jeff Ball who has an awesome band who ended up being not only our CD booth buddies, but our musical partners as well. We performed with them, they performed with us, and some really exciting music was made and a fabulous time was had by all.
We were thrilled to be invited to perform at this event which features the premiere Native American flute players in the world. I was honored to be the sole representative for world flutes.
Everyone involved in the festival was so kind, we felt so at home. Miles was in heaven with several extremely devoted babysitters and was the star of the show when he decided to show off his drumming skills on stage! We'll have photos posted soon so please do check back.
We then visited Gilbert's family in New Orleans and had our annual oyster and shrimp fix. Yum yum.
We're now writing and rehearsing some new songs for our upcoming shows and look forward to sharing them with you!
Happy Spring to you!!
Peace and blessings,
Suzanne, Gilbert & Miles
April 8, 2005
Happy Spring to you! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the creeks are flowing…it is so beautiful this time of year, ahhhh….
We are happy to announce that we won the INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS Best New Age Artist for 2005! We were also nominated in the World Music Category, the only artists to receive nominations in more than one category!
We are also very happy to announce our upcoming shows. After a quiet winter, we are now gearing up for some fun shows in Florida and here in California, so please check out our Upcoming Events page. For those of you in LA, we are very excited to be playing at the Ford Amphitheater on September 24. The Ford is one of the nicest venues in LA, so I hope you can make it to this show. We are planning a big extravaganza with guest artists Prince Diabate, Naser Musa, Armen Chakmakian and Lexi Pearl's Mo Momentum Dancers (with whom I'll be making my local theatrical dance debut!)
And if you haven't already done so, please check out our new videos on the video page. We are happy to finally be able to share some live footage with you.
Miles is doing great -- a very happy and charming two year old. Such fun he is. Of course, we've got lots of new photos of him up. He is definitely the center of our universe these days.
Our blessings and very best wishes to you all and hope to see you soon!
Suzanne, Gilbert & Mystic Journey
December 28, 2004
Happy Holidays to you all! As 2004 rolls to an end, it feels like a time to reflect and give thanks. Even though it is a gray rainy day outside (yes, it does rain in sunny Southern California ) , I am warm and dry, unlike the thousands of people in southern Asia who have suffered from such a huge tragedy, the tsunami of a few days ago. What an enormous disaster I pray for those who lost their lives and for those who lost their family and friends. How fortunate I feel right now.
Our greatest blessing this year was finding out that Miles does not have leukemia. THANK GOD!!! Back in September we had a temporary scare when M's routine blood tests showed a disorder. Long story short, he had such a low count of neutrophils that he was given a biopsy which reassured us that he did not have a serious disease. Whew then, a few months later, his levels tested almost normal, just out of the blue. Whatever it was, prayers, timing, a little miracle boy who knows, but we are so relieved to have a healthy vibrant little two year old (next month, wow time flies!) Those few months though, filled with visits to the department of Pediatric Oncology, taught us so much about parenting and faith and gratitude. My prayers continue to go to those dear little angels that we met in the waiting room who are battling their illnesses. Blessings to you little babes.
As for the music, well, we had a good year, even though it felt like we hardly had time to make any music. Our tour in Canada was wonderful. We saw such beauty and met such great people. Performing on the sacred reservation land overlooking the lake was quite special. The area had been experiencing a drought and our dear friend and host, Sazacha Red Sky and Gilbert were asking Mother Earth for some rain. Well, rain it did. And pour and pour and pour. Then we asked for a clearing so we could share our music with the Canadians who had invited us up to perform. Right as it was time to play, the clouds parted, the sun came out and it was glorious. Mmmm..I love when things like that happen.
In November we played 4 concerts in Philadelphia and we had a great time. We played in beautiful old churches with awesome acoustics, saw good friends there, met new ones, and best of all for Miles, visited the "Please Touch Me" Museum, a must for all little ones visiting Philly.
We are excited to announce that we are finalists in The 2004 INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS (Jukebox IMA) in both the NEW AGE and WORLD MUSIC categories!! Winners will be announce next month.
We were also finalists for the BEST INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM for the Just Plain Folks Awards. We didn't win, but it was an honor to be picked out of over 10,000 entrants!
We also made it for the 2nd year on MUSIC CONNECTION Magazines list of HOT 100 UNSIGNED ARTISTS.
We've got lots of new photos posted, and yes, we are finally in the last stages of editing our video. It is quite beautiful so far and we will be excited to share it with you next month.
Also, last but not least, we are starting the flute meditation album and are thrilled to be featuring a CONTRABASS flute, kindly loaned to us for this album by Eva Kingma .
Well, Miles has just woken from his nap, so I guess it's time to go. Good timing little guy.
Lots of love and may 2005 be a wonderful happy year for you and your loved ones.
Suzanne, Gilbert & Miles
August 05, 2004
a wonderful concert the other night at our friends' Orrin and Shahla's
annual pool concert. The band was "on" that night and we went
on a truly mystical journey. That is always a great reward. Many new
ideas flowed from some pretty special improvisations that we hope to
develop into new songs in the very near future.
and I are off to Canada to play for a few festivals next week, which
is exciting. We've never been to the lovely land up north and it will
be a treat.
just recently been signed by another distributor called Burnside who
will handle our national mainstream accounts, so any retailers out there
reading this, please feel free to contact them! http://www.bdcdistribution.com
Our recent "Echoes" show for Public Radio International was recently
aired nationally and as usual, they did an amazing job. We will post
the show on the website for you all to hear. Meanwhile, you can visit
them at http://www.echoes.org
underway for lots of exciting travel this year, so stay tuned, we will
let you know if we are coming to your area if you sign our email
list from the site. We've got new photos up and many more on the
way, so take a peak at our photo gallery.
wishing you a wonderful fun filled summer!!!
February 17, 2004
Gung Hay Fat Choy Happy Year of the Monkey! We've just returned from our trip to Asia where Gilbert and I performed at the HUAYI - Chinese Festival of Arts, 2nd Annual Chinese New Year Festival. It was an honor to be invited to represent the United States at this festival along with the Hong Kong Ballet, Lo Tayu, one of Taiwan's top pop stars, a drum troupe from China and more than 30 other acts from around the world representing art, music and dance from Chinese artists. Our concerts (8 of them in 4 days!) were well received and plans are in the works to bring out the full Mystic Journey band in the near future! The venue, "Esplanade, Theaters on the Bay", is spectacular. Only a year and a half old, this $600 million complex has three theaters, a concourse/gallery and outdoor amphitheaters. It is completely state of the art and a stunning work of architecture. Click here to view it.
Our journey to Bali afterwards was wonderful. What a beautiful island and what beautiful people the Balinese are. We have lots of photos up in our gallery, so please take a peak! Miles had a blast and is now an experienced world traveler, having survived a 21 hour flight, jet lag, a big bump on his head (a souvenir from our Singapore hotel bedside table), mosquito bites, and his first fever (103.4! - talk about experiencing the challenges of parenthood, I haven't prayed that hard in a long time ).
We were happy to return to beautiful Topanga and to wonderful news from radio stations that "Miles Beyond" is topping play lists around the world! We received emails from Japan, Belarus, Romania, Australia and around the states, which is very rewarding.
Now it's back to the music and to our spring season. We have local shows in the works as well as some west coast touring, so please check back soon and sign up on our email list so we can let you know the details once they are scheduled.
Hoping you are all staying healthy and happy!
Gilbert, Miles, and Mystic Journey
November 7, 2003
It is a chilly Friday night and as we enter into a darker, colder time, it is also a time to get the old knitting project out, light the fire, and have some quiet time. It's a time of contemplation and reflection for me. Sadly, right after our wonderful CD release celebration and my recent birthday festivities on October 20th, my beloved father passed away in the early hours on October 22nd. I was at first hesitant to play at my own father's memorial service, just wanting to say a some words and just be there for my mother, but I later realized that he would want me to play for him. I played China Lily on my favorite flute, my Chinese bamboo Dizi, and poured my heart and soul out for him. I felt him listening and am now inspired to record an album of soulful flute prayers for my dad, Sidney Hsi-Huan Teng, and for all of you. He was a wonderful man and a great father and I will miss him dearly.
Sending you all my love and best wishes,
September 25, 2003
As I mentioned last month, our CD Release Concert celebration is scheduled for 10/10, a full moon Friday evening, here in Topanga at the Theatricum Botanicum.
We are very happy with our new creation and hope that you'll enjoy it too!
Wishing you all the best,
Suzanne, Gilbert, Miles & Mystic Journey
August 16, 2003
Hello! It is a very warm summer evening here in Topanga and while I write this newsletter, Gilbert is recording a dumbek track for one of our pieces for the new cd, and Miles is enjoying sitting under the ceiling fan squealing with excitement. We are very happy to announce that our new CD, "Miles Beyond," will be released in October! We are really happy with it so far and look forward to sharing it with you all. Our CD Release Concert celebration is scheduled for 10/10, a full moon Friday evening, here in Topanga at the Theatricum Botanicum.
Last weekend Gilbert and I performed at the National Flute Association Convention in Las Vegas and it went wonderfully. We were thrilled to be invited to perform on one of the Gala evening concerts in front of more than 2,500 fellow flutists from around the world. It felt great to have our music heard and appreciated by so many of my colleagues and mentors.
Miles is now in his saucer and has discovered how to turn on the music. He looks so proud of himself. He is serenading me with "Intsy Weensty Spider" and "Pop goes the Weasel" and in the distance I can hear the wild drums and zurna; it's a new life around here. Gilbert and I love being parents. It can be a challenge getting things done, but we're figuring out very creative ways to do things. In fact, when you listen to the next cd, see if you can hear Miles. He is playing his rattle on one track and makes a few gurgles and squeaks on another. He's so far made it to many sessions and all of our mixing sessions. And, he's actually on my lap right now as I sign off and say, thanks for visiting our website. We've got new photos posted of Miles and of last year's Botanicum show and our links page is finally going up. Next we'll get sound clips up from the new cd and our long awaited edited video footage.
Until next time,
Wishing you a wonderful rest of the summer.
Suzanne, Gilbert, Miles & Mystic Journey
May 21, 2003
March 29, 2002
We've just returned from our concert in Veracruz, Mexico, and it was incredible -- a great adventure and a gratifying success. We spent the first few days of our trip in Xalapa at a lovely hacienda set in the jungle. The wonderful Mexican band Grupo Keltica (Cythia Valenzuela on celtic harp, dulcimer and voice; Manuel Ugarte on mandolins, oud and flutes; and Francisco Bringas on tabla, dumbek and miscellaneous percussion) joined us at the hacienda for rehearsals which were held in a beautiful cavernous area that opened up to a lovely lush courtyard. The acoustics were vibrant and majestic, but our music was at times drowned out by a powerful choir of singing birds and the occasional pounding rainstorm. Without amplification, we often had to imagine hearing the quieter instruments and with an eight hour a day rehearsal schedule, it was at times quite challenging, to say the least, but we did it! We learned four of their songs, and they learned four of our songs, and we all agreed that together, Mystic Journey and Grupo Keltica is an awesome world music band.
Cumbre Tajin (www.cumbretajin.com) is a remarkable event set at the pyramids of the Totonaca people in the state of Veracruz, a five hour drive from Mexico City, held during the Spring Equinox. The event featured 28 bands from Mexico and around the world (Hungary, Spain, Israel ) with Mystic Journey being the sole representatives from the U.S! We were honored to be invitated to perform on the closing night with the platinum-selling rock band from Spain "Estopa" following us. The concert was a huge success with a packed and enthusiastic audience and a fabulous night of music making. The stage was enormous and we were showered with colorful lights and dry ice (which was great for the visuals but not so great for the instruments). Our dear friend and Guinean kora master Prince Diabate joined us on stage for a memorable performance of Aduman. Mystic Journey and Keltica each played three songs and we then performed the 8 songs together as a big band. It was a magical evening. The wonderful Cumbre Tajin staff treated us extremely well and we loved the warm and friendly fans. A 14-camera television crew filmed the concert and we were featured on the 10:00pm news throughout Mexico! We will have a video clip from this footage up on the website soon.
Meanwhile, we have posted a few photos of our journey including shots of our trip to the waterfalls, our journey to the pyramids, a view of the enormous stage structure, and a concert shot in our MEXICO 2002 gallery. We also have put up a video of our rehearsal at Xalapa in the video section, so please take a peek, but also check back soon for an extensive photo gallery and more videos. We are now gearing up for our spring season of concerts and more work in the studio and hopefully, we will have a new record for you soon. Until next time
May spring bring you freshness and joy, laughter and love.
With our love,
Suzanne, Gilbert, Fritz and Barry (Mystic Journey)
Weve been playing a lot of music lately, which is always great for us. As I write, Gilbert is at Fritz studio laying down oodles of percussion tracks on Fritz newest project, a 2 CD collection of music for Dolphinas upcoming "Goddess Workout" video series. I recorded half of my tracks last week and had a blast. These should be great CDs which will feature all kinds of exotic instruments. When the project is finished, Ill put a link to Dolphinas website. Fritz (our guitarist/sitarist/saz player, and soon to be oud player!) is a talented soundtrack composer and old friend. Were very proud of his work on this project.
Another great friend and amazing musician, master kora player Prince Diabate, who co-wrote "Aduman" with us and has performed with us numerous times, has just released his new CD titled "New Life." Gilbert and I are on the song Voyageur which also features John Bilizikjian on oud and Paul Livingstone on sitar. What a great combination of instruments. We just performed the song at Princes cd release party and were joined by Hassan Hakmoun, a master Moroccan musician. That was a treat. Princes website address is: www.princediabate.com.
In the past, Gilbert and I used to play a lot of Kirtans, (devotional chanting) with a variety of chanters. In order to focus on our various projects, we took a brief break. Lately, weve been playing a few chants again and its been very fun, and very pleasant.
Another big return to the past happened last week when Gilbert and I gave a concert/lecture up at Cazadero Music camp, a beautiful camp for kids grades 6 through 12 situated in the Northern California Redwoods. This was very special for me because, to make a long story short, this camp is the reason that I am playing the flute! My older sisters attended the camp when I was young and our family would go up there for the concerts. I wanted very much to go to the camp myself, but after 2 years of studying the violin and not liking to be "second fiddle" (literally my older sister was so much better, and I was tired of sounding so squeaky), I quit. So, I needed a new instrument to go to camp on and chose the flute. Yay! It was wonderful being back at camp. I was on the flute faculty there many years later, but I havent been back since. The kids, who are there to study classical music, really got into our performance of neo-world music and were even off their feet dancing! It was a joy to give back to the camp that gave me so much
Well, its almost time for me to meet the carpool. But before I say goodbye, I have to tell you that today is mine and Gilberts one month anniversary! We had a wonderful wedding on July 7th in Topanga on our dear friends Elena and Tors beautiful deck overlooking the mountains. We were blessed with perfect weather, a full moon and a shooting star! We were serenaded by Bobbie Jo (celtic harp) and Dov (violin) both dear friends and musicians on our cd . We dined on Armenian food (Gilberts choice he fell in love with the food after playing a gig at an Armenian club with our friend Armen Chakmakian), we danced to Arabic music, and our families finally got to meet and celebrate together. Our wedding present from John, our webworker, is a photo gallery of our wedding, so check back soon if youre interested in seeing how we tied the knot!
Sending you warm wishes,
and Mystic Journey
May 23rd and Im back to finish this letter. Other highlights?
hmmm...Earthday was wonderful again this year. We played for the Earthday
LA event for lots of enthusiastic kids and were inspired by talks by
leading environmentalists who always remind me how powerful one person
can be. These folks have such commitment to saving our environment and
I bow to each of them. Thank you environmentalists! Our local environmental
hero, Woody Hastings, once again produced a fabulous Topanga Earthday
event which we had a blast playing at. It was definitely one of our
best shows ever. Again, well post lots of great photos...and you
can also visit :
for visiting and please send an email message if you are inspired to
say hello, wed love to hear from you! Be well, have fun, be good
to each other (my moms advice to me and Gilbert which I pass on
to you and your loved ones...)
click below to email: