On Saturday evening a small group of people gathered near the Conchas Lake Marina for a Native American musical interlude from fishing and cruising the lake with power boats.
George Tyler of Las Vegas also known by his Native American name “Dear Tracks” performed for an hour on his speciality, the Native American flute, for the group of roughly 20 individuals who sat on camp chairs, benches and picnic tables to be entertained and education by the musician and scholar. Tyler played 18 different pieces on nine different Native American flutes of his own construction. The concert was performed outdoors with Tyler sheltered from the elements by a canopy not far from the lake’s campground as he played solo and sometimes accompanied compact discs. At two points in his performance, the musician played two flutes at the same time.
“I thought it was wonderful,” said Jean Shipton of Carlsbad about the performance. “He played so beautifully and he shared such interesting information about each of the pieces and each flute he was playing.”
Her opinion of the music was echoed by Winnie Rammage of Dalhart, Texas. “I could just see the Indians when he played,” said Rammage about the music. “It was especially true when he played Sand Creek. It was so touching.”
Tyler, an artist with his own studio in Las Vegas said he sees himself as more than just an entertainer and as such feels it is important to share the background of not only the musical pieces he plays but of the lore and history that inspire them.
Tyler’s music illustrated the situation of Native American’s both historically and in modern times. Tyler is the second of a series of speakers and entertainers who will be at Conchas Lake each Saturday at 5 p.m. “We’re trying to reach a wider variety of people, with these presentations,” said Conchas Park Ranger Steve Bastos. “Now with the low water level we are tying to offer more things to people to bring them to the lake and programs like these might be one of the directions we can go.”
Upcoming programs will include such things as talks on migratory birds, and local forts and frontier legends, native plant walks, boating safety instruction among other things.
They will continue throughout the summer: June 12, 5 p.m. migratory birds; June 9, 5 p.m. Native Plant Walk; July 3, 5 p.m. Forts and Forays of the Western Frontier”; July 10, 9 a.m. “The Wonderful World of Butterflies;” July 17, 8:30 p.m. “Star Party”; July 24, 9 a.m. Boating Safety; July 31, 5 p.m. “Paleontology in New Mexico”; Aug. 7, 5 p.m. Civil War and the Western Frontier”; Aug. 14, 7 p.m. Children’s Storytelling; Aug. 21, 28, 8:30 p.m. “Campfire Ranger Talk”; Sept. 4, 6 a.m. Hot air balloon demonstration.