She has the power to draw your attention to what many of us have so long ignored. Vox Lumina comes to us as a musical environmental educator who dazzles with her artistic expression and powerful performances. She is a self-described mythic mystic, modern minstrel environmental evangelist, part Ziggy Stardust
and part Lorax on a mission. Vox’s musical mission is to restore the vital link between the land and the people, “People have fallen out of rhythm with Nature and out of rhythm with themselves.”
Originally commissioned as an environmental art and water healing performance by an ensemble of 11 musicians and dancers on the shore of the Allegheny River, Vox Lumina’s Song of Light has become it’s own unique and mystical experience, performed in theaters, homes, festivals, and gatherings across the country. On the album, as well as in a live “dreamtelling” with the full band, each character is brought to life by an instrument. (Think Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf. ) The flute represents Sky, the guitar family is Earth, horns sing for the Sun, the moody resonator guitar is the Moon, and River ultimately finds herself with a cello’s voice.
As each character develops in the story from dream to physical form to emotional depth to true nature, so does the music. The characters change in mood and mode and melody. A multi-layered approach, one can enjoy these songs as a single track download, or as PMM highly suggests,hear the album start to finish, the “oldfashioned” way, reading the 24 page story (that comes with the actual album purchase, not download) and meditating on the photographs that tell the story as well.
As always, nothing replaces the live musical experience: the tribal gathering, the oral tradition, the improvisation of the instruments, the response of the audience, the cadence of the human voice. It is by this shared experience of “coming together in language, the ecstasy of communication” that Vox Lumina’s Song of Light intends to illuminate the beauty and wonder of nature, and hopes to positively and powerfully change people’s perceptions of and actions toward their environment.
As Vox Lumina’s website states,”For thousands of years people have gathered together to tell stories, to share music, to ponder their beginnings, to celebrate life. Song of Light is a musical mythstory inspired by the awesome and beautiful world we live in, one imagination’s attempt to understand the forces and circumstances that make it so. Original, playful, creative and provocative, these nine “dreamsongs” are woven into a soulful and poetic narrative on the creation of the natural world”.
The Song of Light is the ancient tale of the Original Ones- Sky, Earth, Sun, Moon, and River- and how they dreamed themselves to be. For many moons Vox Lumina, aka Brooke Smokelin (Big Blue Sun, House of Woo), has been moving crowds with her fully emotional blend of rhythmic, rootsy guitar and sophisticated, soulful vocals, sharing the stage with the likes of Donna the Buffalo, Blue Rodeo, and Ember Swift. Along with her elegant and inspiring lyrics, Vox Lumina’s “organically grown soul music” moves through a variety of musical landscapes- blues, jazz, folk, rock, world- “a veritable celebration of sound that highlights depth and creativity and is accentuated by extremely mindful lyrics” (First Degree).” We might hear the influence of Ricki Lee Jones, Van Morrison, or Bjork as well as yoga inspired trance-chanting from her self-released album Music is Medicine (2006) and her gigs as a kirtan wallah.
Check out Vox Lumina’s Song of Light via the links below and stay tuned for a full review of Song of Light as well as an exclusive interview with Vox Lumina herself.