FANTASTIC FLUTE: A Visit with Mescalero Apache Flutist Mike Serna
NAMMY-nominated flutist. U.S. Army Veteran. Mescalero Apache and Gabrieleno descendant. Multifaceted musical artist Mike Serna shared candidly concerning his career.
Q: What is the most exciting aspect of being a flutist?
A: I enjoy playing and performing as much as possible! I feel stage presence can only be improved by live performances.
Q: You are a sought after performer for powwows,concerts and festivals. Favorite memories?
A:Performing with R. Carlos Nakai,Arvel Bird and performing at local venues in my hometown of Chattanooga,TN. Reaching musical goals I set for myself and performing and speaking with elementary school age children are definitely cherished opportunities.
Q:You play a variety of music. Do you have any favorite songs among your playlist that you especially enjoy sharing?
A: “Calling My Love” is a highlight,since I’m a romantic. “Adrianna”, my first song I composed for my youngest daughter is close to my heart. “Bad Medicine”,a song about my addiction to drugs and alcohol is important now that I’ve been clean for 19 years!!!!
Q: Motivation certainly permeates your career. You demonstrate a true passion for playing traditional flute. What inspired your musical creativity?
A: People who have overcome life’s many obstacles, people who set goals for themselves and people who accomplish them all inspire me. My music has my life story in all my songs and that of friends and family. Birth, suicide, Love happiness and Nature all evoke songs that I perform.
Q: You seem to remain consistently booked! Audiences respond delightfully to your concerts! What is the.next event you are eagerly anticipating?
A:September 7th and 8th Trail Of Tears Commemerative Pow Wow in Hopkinsville,KY is upcoming. My fourth release is called “Never Surrender”. This rock/blues tribute honors one of my Brothers who was murdered senselessly by a racist in 1994.
A: I love to spend time with my family and friends, camping, cooking out, trout fishing, deer hunting and traveling.
Q: Native flutes represent a dynamic facet of Native heritage. Many people consider this traditional instrument to be synonymous with Native American Music. Do you see any trends in modern flute playing?
A: I see the Native flute being used in many more genres of music and accepted more as a viable part of the band in both Traditional and Contemporary music.
Q: Your career is prospering,but if you didn’t perform, what would you do?
A: If I didn’t play flute,I would probably still be employed in the construction trades. I would express my love for music by attending more concerts, if I didn’t play flute.
Q: Native American flute seems to be here to stay. Flute music certainly has an enduring quality that transcends the past and is moving and progressing into the present. In your opinion, why is that?
A: I feel the flute has endured so long because each player has his/her own style. Also, the flute reaches down into the soul.
Q: What do you want us to know about you that we do not already know? Share with us, please?
A: Creator gave me the gift of the flute and music only after my harboring hatred for my Brother’s murderer for several years. Once I gave my hatred and rage to Creator, he gifted me with music and the ability to play the flute.
Q: if you could sum up a time when you felt the most successful, what was it?
A: Several years back, I gifted one of my handmade flutes to a U.S. Army Special Forces operator. My flute was played during hostilities and the firing stopped while it was being played! Even if it was for 2 or 3 minutes, I feel my music brought peace to people who desired peace!!!
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