Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Sometimes, your friends and acquaintances can turn you on to some of the most original music and sounds out there. Recently, accomplished musician Marc Meriläinen pointed me in the direction of Alissa Skorik, a sixteen year old Native American Spirit Flute musician. I’ve sampled some of her songs and I have to say, I’m truly impressed.
At the age of twelve, Toronto, Canada native, with Ukranian roots, Alissa Skorik taught herself how to play the spirit flute. According to Alissa, the flute spoke to her and she turned to her music during times of stress and hardship. Seeking to introduce the world to traditional Native American Music, Alissa decided to take the ancient sound of traditional Native American Music and blend it with modern beats and instruments, combining the old with the new in a way that makes the music interesting to younger generations. According to Skorik, “The Spirit Flute and the Native American traditions help me overcome so much grief in my life, I hope it does the same for others. However in order for it to have such an influence people need to know about it and get interested. That’s where I come in.”
I’ve always been a fan of the spirit flute and its haunting beauty, but in Alissa Skorik’s hands, that flute becomes an instrument that can bridge the older generation of Native Americans with the new, and bring a whole new sound to all those out there who have never actually heard Native American Music before.
The flute never sounds more hauntingly beautiful than in Kiss of A Wordsmith in which there is no background music, just a softly played beat holding the flute centerstage. Ignited has a soft, alternative rock style, while Luna and Tracker feature the spirit flute attached to a dance track. Childling has a classic Native American sound mixed with a modern beat. Winding Paths has a playful, somewhat Asian style to it.
There were two songs that I felt weren’t up to par with the rest found on Alissa Skorik’s website. First, Phantom of the Opera – I felt that the talent and skill of Skorik’s spirit flute is no less impressive, but the sound is not as rich and powerful as what can be found on the rest of the tracks. Then, there’s Grand Trail, which features an awesome flute, but I feel the song may sound better with a percussion beat rather than a piano accompaniment.
But even the least of the tracks found on Alissa Skorik’s website are incredibly enjoyable. I think what is most amazing about Alissa Skorik is that she is a sixteen-year-old self-taught spirit flute performer that sounds like she is a professional musician who has had years of training. I would love to hear more from this young musician and her unique way of bringing ancient cultural music into a modern day style.
Buy Alissa Skorik's debut album at http://www.alissaskorikofficial.com/store.html