John Vames Remembrance

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A brief look at the songbook and CD "Remembrance" by John Vames.

On this page, you can see the front and back covers of the songbook, "Remembrance", links to samples of the songs from the Book and CD as well as the first page of the sheet music from the title song. John was an excellent Native American flute player as well as a wonderful teacher who is loved and respected by all that knew him. The songs from the CD were transcribed by Auggie Mendoza, Local 586, A.J.M. Arrangers & Copyists. They are written in Nakai Tablature, which is the most popular and accepted form of notation for the Native American Flute.

Songbook                                                                                  CD

Here's an excerpt from the Introduction of the book, written by his wife, Sherry Vames:

REMEMBRANCE, "Songs From a Journey" is a collection of John's unpublished flute music from 2003-2010. Contained are songs that reflect life's seasons and particularly John's. They tell of events, thoughts and feelings, and give the magic of the flute and John's playing. These songs will reach your mind and heart. I think you will also appreciate their value in applauding the beauty and versatility of the Native American Flute in the many styles of music today.

With the the exception of "child's Play and "Blue Flute", John recorded these songs in his computer in the early hours of morning. I found them in his Garage Band program, after he died. There are 47 songs and many are untitled. I titled them as I felt them, choosing names I thought reflected his journey. These songs are all very dear to me, especially "Letting Go. It tells the story of our hardest challenge and one we all must face. I think you will further enjoy "After the Rain" that follows. It is a song of acceptance and hope for the new beginnings. It is also the first song that John and I wrote together in 2005.

Some suggestions given by Sherry:

  1. Have a copy of John's Book, "Understanding the Gift" and instructional CD readily available. all the basics you need to know to play NAF are in there.
  2. Review chapters on Duration and Note Values.
  3. Practice the Nakai Tab exercises on pg 48-52
  4. Re-familiarize yourself with the glossary of musical terms.
  5. Reference the Rhythmic Values chart on pg 84
  6. Reference the Chromatic Scale on pg 80. I have included both the Rhythmic Values Chart and Chromatic Scale in the appendix of this book for your convenience. You will probably come across note position in the transcriptions that are new and the chart of the chromatic Scale will be a valuable reference for correct fingering
  7. My last suggestion is to have a copy of "Remembrance" CD. It will be half the battle in learning to play these songs Plus you are sure to enjoy listening.

Accompanying John on some of the songs in this CD is World Class percussionist, Will Clipman. You will hear Will's percussion on CDs by R Carlos Nakai along with countless other recording artists from around the Globe. Will came in and recorded percussion in real time with John's music, adding textures and rhythms to enhance the wonderful songs.

If you loved John as much as everyone who knew him did and would like to expand your horizons by learning his compositions, I highly recommend this book and CD. Even if you don't want to learn to read the music, the songs on the CD make great listening.

Links to samples of the songs from this CD

  1. Remembrance
  2. The Wedding
  3. Your Own Special Way
  4. Child's Play
  5. Sweet
  6. As Above So Below
  7. Lost on the Rez
  8. The Gift
  9. Call to the Spring
  10. Broken Wing
  11. Blue Flute
  12. Letting go
  13. After the Rain
 Purchase Songbook "Remembrance" by John Vames $27.00
Purchase the CD "Remembrance" by John Vames $15.00
Save $5.00 by Purchasing "Remembrance" CD & Songbook together $37.00 for both


(All music and images 2010 Sherry Vames/Molly Moon Arts)

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