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Maya WindDancer's account of a night with Tito and Elba's music

"This was not a concert. It was a musical healing experience... I was touched by Spirit - a gentle love that is overflowing... It was one of the most special nights of my life." -- Maya WindDancer

by Maya WindDancer

Monday, March 17, 2003

It started with Tito playing (blowing) a large conch shell for at least 10 minutes. I couldn't tell when he was taking a breath. It had different holes in it and he could make it sound like the wind or a flute - deep or high, loud or soft. He walked around the crowd as he played it - now I know he was getting a feel for the individuals present.

He had 2 bunches of dried leaves that were tied tightly at one end. He shook it slowly, then he went so fast it sounded like a rattlesnake. He played a wind instrument as he walked around the crowd, shaking the leaves over the tops of their heads. He slapped everyone he passed as he came toward me & I wondered what he would do. He did quite a bit of work on the man next to me - he left soon afterward. I put my hands on my thighs, palms up; but he simply rattled it over my head. Susan, the friend I was with commented on it because I was one of few he didn't touch.

He had a pair of condor right wing feathers that he vibrated and made a wonderful sound. He used one of them on a drum as a beater and to rub the head in a circular motion. Then he used one on a small round-bottomed stringed instrument, similar to a mandolin. He slapped the strings with it, then picked it up and fretted chords using the feather to strum the instrument. He made the feather flick over the strings while he changed chords in a way that made the feather vibrate.

His wife added some vocals and soft drumming. At the end, she was holding a drum while he was playing some sort of wind instrument, and they did a dance. It was circular, flowing, swooping. They danced this way for a long while, then walked to the back of the hall and up the stairs to the balcony. They continued the music and drumming and returned to the stage area and resumed the dance. Then they started speeding up and I noticed that their dance pattern was evolving into one where they were circling each other. I thought it was a condor mating dance. Most raptors do something similar, then grasp claws and spin to the ground - breaking apart just before hitting the ground.

Tito's wife was the interpreter and I asked her about it, and she replied that she didn't know - it was an ancient ritual dance. He was standing there listening as we talked about the circling and swooping. Her eyes lit up, and said that she had never thought about it before, but that I might be right. He heard every word & I think he understands English much more than he lets on - don Alejandro, the Mayan elder is like that. As I left I told him, "Gracias." He pulled me to him and hugged me. Then we stood apart holding our hands before us, eyes closed. A wonderful, calm, peaceful, loving feeling was over both of us. Then he kissed my fingers and blew across all of my knuckles. Then he went "Swish" with his breath, tightened his hands on mine then released me. I was touched by Spirit - a gentle love that is overflowing.

It was one of the most special nights of my life. Oh, he played non-stop for two hours. They came back for a brief encore and I saw her draw a counter-clockwise circle on her drum and knew it was over.

Hugs and love,


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Ayni Projects
[i-nee] (n.)
A Quechua word meaning reprocity whose underlying premise is; so as I give, so shall I be provided for. A principle which when operant in any relationship, group, or system creates a field of intention that allows for the possibility of positive change, synchronicity and miracles.

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