Jennifer Kreisberg, formerly of Ulali, took a moment to talk with TMGR the other day. We asked her what one might expect if they were to attend her Nov 30 show at Grand Valley State University's Pew Campus. She said that she along with slide guitar afficianado Pura Fey will be doing one or two songs with guitar but the show will mostly focus on their world class vocals and trademark harmonies.
TMGR found some background material that said Fey and Kreisberg were "one of the first Native American a capella women's groups to create their own sound from strong traditional roots and personal contemporary styles." We asked Ms. Kreisberg what this meant when we caught up with her by telephone.
"Our traditional music and pre-Columbian (Columbus) contact music was very thick and full with harmonies," Kreisberg said. "The scale of it is what people today consider to be a blues scale; it's not a Western European music scale. People who think that all Native music is from the Plains are the ones who hear our music and try to put other labels on it."
What about the "traditional roots" part?
"We write songs that sound just like our traditional songs because no one should be allowed to use their ceremonial songs for general public consumption," Kreisberg stated."We use some stomp dance structures but we make the songs ourselves. We make them new. We don’t use the ones we use at home (in ceremony)."
"Music is either in you or not," she continued.
"Pura and I each have something in us. For her it’s about slide guitar. But Pura Fey can do anything. She likes jazz and blues," Kriesberg explained. "For me it’s more about reggae and hip-hop. What we both like in common is indigenous music from all over the planet. We both have extensive collections of African music and all kinds Native music, of course. But we enjoy music from all over the world basically: rain forest music, pygmy music, Celtic, and Mongolian. I don’t know if that necessarily influences our work but when that’s inside of you I’m sure it comes out somehow," she says.
"We just do music; a couple of Indian chicks,” says Kreisburg with a laugh.
Jennifer Kreisberg & Pura Fey (formerly of Ulali) at Grand Valley State University (Pew Campus) Loosemore Auditorium, tonight at 6 pm. Free and open to the public.
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