Above: Robert Mirabal. Photograph by Kate Russell.
Two-time Grammy winner Robert Mirabal lives with his family at the foot of sacred Taos Mountain, in northern New Mexico. There he maintains the traditions of Taos Pueblo while breathing new life into its music, based on the tonalities of his Native flutes. He is also a composer, painter, craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman, and farmer who performs all over the world.
The mainstream sees it as traditional music, but to me it’s just music—a modern-day contemporary expression with traditional instruments.
I don’t perform too much in New Mexico, but I like outside venues. It all depends on the show. I loved the old Paolo Soleri Amphitheater, in Santa Fe. I still love the Santa Fe Plaza and the Taos Center for the Arts. They all become one gigantic ceremonial stage.
What makes music different here is the cultures that are infused in our everyday lives: street signs, food, mud, kachina dances—all these are moments of thought and inspiration.
I’ll go anywhere to see a show, a venue in the sage, or the Santa Fe Opera, so long as it’s good. Lately I’ve been digging a group called Lone Piñon. I shared the stage with them at the inauguration of the new governor and loved the sharing of old times, new times, and the love of the lives we live.