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Title: Awakened Heart, Native Flutes and Crystal Bowls
Artist: Dick Saggio, Native American style flute; Barbara Ruth, Crystal Singing Bowls
Available From: Saggio, P.O. Box 3969, Apache Junction, AZ 85217-3969
       Phone: 480-982-3795
Number of Selections: 9; Playing Time: 63:20

Native flute has never been so mysterious and haunting as when combined with the perfect pitch of singing crystal bowls. Awakened Heart is a masterpiece that lovingly ushers the listener to a meditative state of awareness. Perfectly crafted for use by healers of all modalities, this music sets the stage by carefully and uniquely caressing a space within us, heightening our awareness and sensitivity to the very subtlest of movement.
What impresses me most about this gorgeous recording is that all the flute pieces are spontaneous recordings, one-take responses to the singing bowls or soft keyboards. The recordings were all made in Sedona, Arizona and it clearly has the energetic imprint of the Native elders.
It's been two or three years since I've fallen deeply in love with the flute and I can't imagine anyone not treasuring this work as much as myself. Each of the nine pieces offers something unique in the way of spiritual healing, from rebirth and emotions, to spiritual understanding and insight. My favorite is the Peacemaker's Chant, offered as a "tranquilizer, promoting self-expression" and also Asa's Light, (named after a cherished grand daughter of Saggio and Barbara). I hope you will take a few moments and visit their website. They provide listening samples, which is always a wonderful gesture in this day and age. Namaste' and Happy 5 year anniversary PLW!

Listen to audio samples of Awakened Heart or if you wish to purchase this CD please go to
© Avenescent, 2004
CD Review
by Planet Lightworker Magazine
Awakened Heart CD

Monthly Newsletter
Title: Hollow Bone: Healing Sounds Of The Native Flute
Artist: Dick Saggio, Native American style  flute; Barbara Ruth, Crystal Singing Bowls
Available From: Saggio, P.O. Box 3969, Apache Junction, AZ 85217-3969
       Phone: 480-982-3795
Number of Selections: 11; Playing Time: 61:34

A former student of R. Carlos Nakai, a member of The International Native American Flute Association, and an honorary member of the Arizona Flute Circle, Saggio has been playing Native American style flutes for 13 years. It is clear through his playing that his spirit and mind are inseparable from the music- that the music moves through him as a vessel. Although there is no lack of gifted, inspired flute players today, Saggio posseses an inforgettable quality in his "voice." This deeply moving sense is particularly tangible in this release, largely because of his creative play with instrumental color and sound shaping. Accenting his playing with strings of an Indian tuned zither-harp, a baritone dulcimer, an udu, a meditation tongue drum, Jew's harps, an extraordinary German Sansula Kalimba mounted on a drum head, the subtle explorations and metaphysical atmospheres are exquisite and powerful. This is easily one of the best flute releases we have heard in months.
CD Review by
Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl
Courting the Heart of the World CD
Title:   Courting the Heart of the World
Artist:  Saggio
Label:  Saggio,  P.O. Box 3969, Apache Junction, AZ 85217
             Phone: 480-982-3795;
Number of Selections: 12; Total Playing Time:  71:14

"I AM A HEALING ARTIST.  The flute songs that continue to pour through me are a daily confirmation that I am living among a race of beings of love and light.  To know this is to be made whole. ~Saggio

Courting the Heart of the World  is Saggio's third recording endeavor.  He describes this CD as a collection of one-take improvisations, declaring this to be a return to the trance-like music of his first CD entitled The Thunder of Silence.  In this, his latest CD, Saggio sees himself as a "flute pray-er offering musical sacraments to a spiritually hungry planet."

Saggio's Courting the Heart of the World is a gentle journey through a contemporary soundscape created by the  Native American style flute (Saggio), keyboard (Alex Grant), kora (David Ranney), and didgeridoo (Brandon Saggio).  The flutes used on this recording are made by Butch Hall, Michael Gulino of Moonlight Creek Flutes, Rick Roberts, J.P. Gomez of HeartSong Flutes, Pat Haran, Stephen DeRuby, Richard Ramon, Nev Autry, and Hawk and Geri LittleJohn. Saggio uses flutes of varying ranges and keys, as well as multi-chambered flutes.

A particularly interesting aural flavor present on Courting the Heart of the World is the African kora.  The kora played by David Ranney on this recording has twenty-two strings and was made by kora master Ailu Suso of West Africa.  The kora is a traditional instrument of the Mande, an ethnic group in West Africa.  The kora is an intriguing, fretless harp-lute instrument with a sound box made from a large gourd half which is covered with thin animal skin.  The kora player holds the kora in an upright position with the bottom of the instrument resting lightly against his body, with the strings facing him.  Played with both hands, the kora performer plucks the strings like a harp.  He produces varying patterns on each hand which combine to create both a melodious and rhythmic sound.  Traditionally played by the jali, the hereditary musicians of the Mande, the kora player sings praises to the gods, sings the genealogy of his people, and performs heroic songs like the famous Sunjata epic.

Throughout this CD, Saggio exhibits very melodious flute playing.   His flute style is warm and clean.  While he uses typical Native American style flute ornamentation throughout the CD, he does so in a sparing manner.  Saggio never allows the ornaments to overwhelm the melody.  Rather, his ornaments add character to the songs and accentuate the gentle melodies; he uses them for decoration.

The title track of this CD,  "Courting the Heart of the World," brought peace and warmth to my heart, as it brought memories of my friends Hawk and Geri LittleJohn.  Here, Saggio plays a Southern Appalachian F# flute made by Hawk and Geri.  The liner notes describe this song as follows:  You dream that you are playing your Woodland love flute. A man from another tribe a world away begins to accompany you on his West African harp-lute. Yet another world away, an Aborigine blows his didgeridoo.  All together you court the heart of the world.  The complete profundity of this song and its description simply overwhelmed my soul.  It brought back the words and philosophies of the late Hawk LittleJohn. He was a gentle man, loving all people.  He was a peaceful man, who had an inclusive outlook of the world, its people, and its workings.  "Courting the Heart of the World" embodies Hawk LittleJohn, and Saggio sings Hawk's spirit and love through the flute.

The remainder of "Courting The Heart of the World" is a pleasant listen.  Saggio's flute utilization is gentle and masterful.  He floats the listener from warm cocoon to warm cocoon with his shimmering, contemporary melodies and subtle accompanimental flavors. While I am not a fan of overpowering synthesizer use, the electronics that Saggio uses are unobtrusive and quite comforting to the ear .

Kudos, Saggio, on your fine CD!  

VOICE OF THE WIND / Volume 2, 2002
The Official Publication of the International Native American Flute Association
CD Review
by CD Baby
Reviewer: Tamara
CD Review
by John Sarantos
The Thunder of Silence C
Title: The Thunder of Silence - A Native American Flute Journey
Artist: Dick Saggio, Native American style flute; Riki Newell - Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals and Vocal Sound Effects; Vivian Heart -Vocals
Available From: Saggio, P.O. Box 3969, Apache Junction, AZ 85217-3969, Phone: 480-982-3795
Number of Selections: 5; Playing Time: 61:50

As a result of its splendid creativity and originality, I find it very enjoyable to share my thoughts on The Thunder of Silence - A Native American Flute Journey. In this debut recording, Saggio has created five songs whose melodies aurally resemble a creek peacefully flowing through a radiant sunlit forest. The melodies are always present in some form, but they seldom repeat. They just continue gracefully flowing on.

Saggio's song titles are like a brief summary of the emotions that each song can evoke from its listeners. For example, in the first cut, "Gift of Love," he uses an A minor bass Aspen flute to play notes that dance from the high range to the low. At times these notes create a haunting feeling of being alone, while reflecting one's strong emotional feelings of being ever thankful to have someone in life with which to share the gift of love.

Throughout the recording, Saggio demonstrates his versatility of flute technique. He uses a variety of flute embellishments along with the skillful incorporation of pitch changes. Riki Newell's weaving of electronic enhancements and affects blend together in perfect harmony with the traditional sounds of the flute. Using the guitar, Riki Newell accompanies Saggio on all five selections. The sounds of these two artists merge and compliment each other in such an incredible musical union. For example, in "Beyond Words and Thoughts", the song begins with the guitar softly playing as it is joined by the flute in a way that creates a perfect blend of sounds in one's mind. The sounds intertwine as if in a passionate dance where each sound takes turns being the lead, while at the same instant creating the illusion of being a unity of just one entity. Each time I listen to this song, new emotions are felt, new blends and levels are heard that transcend mere words and thoughts.

On track 3, "Beyond Words and Thoughts", the vocals are performed by both Vivian Heart and Riki Newell. The remainder of the vocals on the CD are performed by Riki Newell. Once again, flute and guitar fuse together as one sound, while at the same time weaving in and out, each taking the lead at various points. The vocals, used very sparingly and effectively, add that element of the inner soul singing out for self-discovery.
The two other songs on this recording, "The Thunder of Silence" and "Consciousness Unfolding", showcase both Saggio's and Newell's talents as musicians and also as a producer and recording engineer. Their crafting of overdubs and almost subliminal effects help accent and enhance their songs.

Besides all his other musical talents, Newell also plays the synthesizer. I find his manipulation of the synthesizer on this CD to be quite original and effective. On some songs, it almost acts as a meditative mantra, quietly opening one's mind to experience a musical journey into the inner self. Like his guitar playing, the sounds of the synthesizer compliment and mix well with Saggio's flute playing.
Saggio's flute playing would very easily stand on its own, as would Newell's guitar playing. We should all be excited that they joined together to share their talents with us. In my opinion, The Thunder of Silence is a wonderful gift to the world.

The Official Publication of the International Native American Flute Association
Hollow Bone CD
Giving Back to Apache Junction logo
    Close your eyes and through the voices of Native American style flutes, you can almost visualize Indian spirits, haunting, mystical and rising from the smoke of an ancient ceremonial fire. Gathered against the backdrop of the sacred superstition Mountains, 'Saggio' weaves tales of Indian flute origins for audiences of all ages.
    Dick Saggio and his wife, Barbara, have been residents of Apache Junction for the past 25 years, and until three years ago, Saggio taught English at Mountain View High School. He's since walked away from the paper grading to devote full time to performing and recording.
    "Dick was the English teacher," said his wife, "now, the flute player is Saggio."
    Saggio, an Italian name, means one of wisdom, one to savor, and the translation duly describes the man who makes the wooden branch sing.
    About six years ago, Saggio first heard Native American flutes on an album his wife was playing. "I ran downstairs," he recounts, "and my heart told me I needed to make that sound. Instantly, I fell under the spell of the primal music."
    Saggio believes some form of collective cellular memory was triggered in him that day, for the urgency to make the sound of Native American flutes was overwhelming.
    "This is a coming home for both the flute and the flute player, a soulful reunion of long-separated friends," said Saggio.
    Although he had never made music before, does not read music even today, and does not consider himself a musician, when the flute comes to Saggio's  lips, there is a magical union of wood, flesh, and spirit. He plays his flutes without knowing how.
    "It is because I am what I play," said Saggio. "I put my head under my arm and I play from the heart."
    Saggio said he prays the flutes to carry him to that quiet place deep within... where he can experience the thunder of silence.
    "There is a master inside that knows what to do as each of my 70 flutes calls out to me, each with a different voice and a separate personality,"  he said.
    For two hours on July 27, Saggio's flutes softly echoed across the rooms and hallways of Merrill Gardens, 2080 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction, each wafting its individual and haunting voice as Saggio performed to a packed living room area and mesmerized the audience with his improvisational music and Native American stories.
    According to Saggio, Native American flutes have been around for several hundred years drifting across the southern plains, until about 20 years ago when there was but a handful of these flutes and Indian flute players remaining.
    "The flutes and players almost went to extinction," said Saggio, "but now the sounds are rebounding in larger numbers."
    Saggio's extensive collection of 70 flutes ranges in price from a $12 Pima flute to a $420 bass G flute. His accumulation, acquired from some of the most gifted flute makers across the country, includes a wide variety of Native American style pieces in aromatic cedar, walnut, spruce, mahogany, cherry, maple, mesquite, and kwila.
    Using sound effects and the melodious native voice of a maple flute with a channel block, or bird, carved in the likeness of a woodpecker, Saggio interlaced  tales among  sounds  of   the wind and the pecking of a woodpecker. He retold stories passed down from generations of Indians, testimonials shared with him by current descendants of Native Americans. He told of a young Indian brave playing a wooden branch with an image of a woodpecker, the mystical sounds carrying to a young Indian maiden, the chief's forbidden daughter. Through the dead branch, made alive again with the magic of sound, the brave's heart was expressed through music and he captured the maiden's heart. According to Indian legend, this was the origin of the love flute, or courting flute.
    At Merrill Gardens, Saggio performed a piece, Beyond Words and Thoughts, from his current album, The Thunder of Silence. He encouraged his captive audience to let the healing sound take them where it might, to a healthful place. The E Minor flute, made in Texas of walnut wood, produced relaxing, harmonious, almost enchanting sounds as many residents closed their eyes to be transported to that mystical mending place.
    The artist describes himself as a "healing artist" and his music as "... an ideal accompaniment for wellness programs, bodywork, and journeys within."
    Lovena Warren, a T'ai Chi instructor and resident of Gold Canyon,  shares that belief.
    At 10 a.m. twice a week, something magical happens at the Mountain Brook Village in Gold Canyon. That's when a dozen or so residents gather and look up at the looming Superstition Mountains. To the soft voices of Saggio's flutes and the directions of Ms. Warren, they inhale deeply and, suddenly, they become drifting clouds, or floating lilies, or gliding eagles. It's part of a mental exercise of a T'ai Chi class, a 4,000-year old martial art that involves various movements, breathing, and meditation exercises.
    "The goal is to get in touch with your inner self using slow, easy meditative type movements," said Ms. Warren. "Saggio's music is very conducive to getting into that meditative mood, to creating balance and  harmony in life. Guilt and anger block up inside us. T'ai Chi creates healing as it starts the flow of energy and unblocks those factors that can cause illness. I just want to share my good fortune with others, and I teach T'ai Chi free of charge," said Ms. Warren.
    Saggio describes Ms. Warren's classes, which include grandmothers, young mothers, and some older men, as "poetry in motion," "a very beautiful movement," and "a good way to move one's body and mind and spirit together."
    Saggio can be heard weekly on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. at Arizona Mills where he's been performing for over three months under the MAKA Management and record label, and he's contracted well into 2001. After Labor Day, performances will be added on Friday evenings.
    On January 13, Saggio will be performing at "The Gathering,"  a multimedia performance where three to four different artisans--artists, dancers, pottery makers, and musical performers--will be on stage at once. This event will be held at Chandler Center for the Arts.
    The Thunder of Silence, Saggio's debut album, is a magical blend of plaintive, haunting flute improvisations, accented with the grace and elegance of classical guitar.
   When Daydreams Whisper, the second CD, is scheduled for release this month, and a third album, Courting the Heart of the World, is already underway with a planned release date about three months out.
    T'ai Chi and Saggio are the culmination of an inspiring, healing, triumphant sound painting with which to journey into the new millennium.
When Saggio brings a Native American flute to his lips, there is a magical union
of wood, flesh, and spirit.
When Saggio brings a Native American flute to his lips, there is a magical union of wood, flesh, and spirit
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with native flutes and
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Monthly Newsletter
August 8, 2000
When Daydreams Whisper

Saggio's Native American style flutes:
haunting, healing

By Cathi A. Kniola
Independent Newspapers
Saggio Photo1
Celebrate Life
With The Sounds
of Native Flutes
The Apache Junction News
By Terri Barker
Special to the AJ News 

    The haunting sounds of live Native American style flute performances are now available year-round in the Valley of the Sun, courtesy of a man known only by his last name, "Saggio."
    Saggio has studied with R. Carlos Nakai and is a member of the International Native American Flute Association.  He appears regularly at Borders Books and Music in Mesa where the gentle, melodic strains of his Indian flutes will take you on a peaceful, tranquil journey.*
    This magical sound springs from the wisdom and inspiration of the original inhabitants of our country and will waken your spirit and make your heart sing and dance. The rich, resonant tones of Saggio's flutes summon mystical images of echoing canyons, remote mountain tops and windswept deserts and forests.
    "When the flutes found me," said Saggio, "they demanded to be played."
    He had never made music before, but his heart melted  when he blew his first note.
    "Now I sing through my flutes."  He continued, "Now I celebrate my life and the ancestral home of the 500 original nations of America when I play my Indian flutes."
    Saggio's performances are a varied blend of traditional tribal songs, originals, improvisations, uplifting old favorites, and colorful storytelling.
    His talent is unique on the musical scene and he has been showcased at two M.O.-H.A.M. events.

*Due to other commitments, Saggio is not currently appearing at Borders Books and Music.
Press Articles
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