In the Garden of the Gods
On August 25th of 2007, seven uniquely talented musicians from all parts of the country made their way by footpath, instruments in hand, to a stunning site alongside the red rock cliffs of the Garden of the Gods outside of Manitou Springs, CO. Organized by the legendary Robert Force, the group, dubbed Manitou, includes three other performers of the mountain dulcimer; Bud Ford III, Bing Futch and Quintin Stephens. Rounding out the dulcimer quartet are bassist Dave Batti, guitarist Roger Zimish and percussionist/vocalist Judy Piazza. The result of this musical meeting went beyond anyone's preconception of what might happen by those exquisite formations. What happened in those 90 minutes was a breathtaking and heartfelt expression of music in the moment inspired by the spirit of place, the manitous (spirits) of the red stones that towered above them, of the red earth that held them in her arms, the spirits of the wind that gently kissed them as they surrendered to the experience. Manitou ... a shape-shifting musical entity, a dynamic and engaging experience that creates a fusion of the familiar and the fantastic, exploring the 'folk' aspect of folk music by celebrating the music of the people. Manitou crosses over the boundaries between musical genres with full flavors of World, Tribal and Fusion. Manitou is a collection of ambient soundscapes with wide open mountain dulcimer washes, colorful acoustic guitar and bass, world percussion, didgeridoo, vocals and Native American flutes. Manitou is music of the moment tuned in through seven different channels on one perfectly beautiful day.