Footsteps of the Wolf (MP3 album)
One-man album, songs ranging from acoustic to Velvet Underground-ish. Ten songs document a real-life Vision Quest which took me from Scotland to the Pacific Northwest. A Lakota holy man and a family of wolves I met in the wild led me and taught me.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (50:55) !
Related styles: NEW AGE: Shamanic, ROCK: Acid Rock
People who are interested in Pink Floyd Lou Reed should consider this download.
This is the story of how a Native American holy man and a family of wolves I met in the wild completely changed my life.
I was a professional newspaperman in Scotland for almost 20 years. In the early 1980s I saw the oncoming wave of desktop publishing just before it hit and changed the publishing industry forever. In 1986 I helped set up the European operations of a US-based software company in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 1994, another US software company approached me out of the blue and offered me a job in the Pacific Northwest. I took the job because I wanted to help lead the transition from reading on paper to reading on computer screens.
And that was when it all started to get very strange – even before I’d left Scotland. First I had a really powerful dream in which a Native American shaman showed me how to turn into a wolf. Hey, I’ve been a hard-headed newsman – I don’t dream like that!
Then it got even stranger: I had a vision, while I was wide awake, in which a pack of wolves appeared in the sky and showed me the constellation of the Little Bear, high in the sky. A friend of a friend, who’s an Ojibwa tribal member, told me I needed to visit her teacher, a Lakota holy man called Martin High Bear, known simply as High Bear. Yes, the wolves in the vision gave me his name!
High Bear was living in Portland, Oregon at the time, only a couple of hours from where I was now living. I visited him, and he told me the dream and vision were about leadership, and that “The Wolf” would teach me everything I needed to know.
Well, how was that going to happen in this day and age? A couple of days later, I was introduced to tracker and wilderness awareness expert Jon Young. When I asked if he had ever tracked wolves, he did a double-take and told me that two days before he’d been tracking wolves a lot closer to civilization than people believed they lived.
A few days later, Jon, Kirstin (his partner) and I drove out to where he’d seen the tracks. And just as I pulled in to park my Jeep (with the top off), a wolf ran out and stood in front of us, looking me straight in the eyes!
By this time, I was just about floored by the string of coincidences that had brought me there.
The wolf stayed for a few minutes, then Jon led me to his favorite tracking site – which turned out to be the place I’d seen in my dream.
I started tracking the wolves, and the bears and cougars that live around my home. In the process I learned more about how humans really work in the place where their perception developed – the wilderness. We think we’re so civilized and modern, but we’re really still Homo sapiens Version 1.0 – a hunter-gatherer, whose perception developed for our survival.
And it turned out the wolves weren’t teaching me to “Be a Warrior” or anything of that New Age stuff. They were teaching me what I needed to do to make better software for computers, so they’d feel more natural to human perception.
There are hundreds of millions of people using software I helped to invent. I’m inventor or co-inventor on 21 granted US patents, with more still in the pipeline.
And it all comes from what the wolves, bears and cougars taught me. I’ve been followed home by a cougar; I’ve had a huge black bear come and sit on my front doorstep. And I’ve had a whole succession of strange experiences with Native “medicine people”.
I’ve played music most of my life. One day I wrote the chorus and one verse of a song I named “Footsteps of the Wolf” – the title track of this CD. Over the next few years I wrote the other songs. I had to teach myself keyboards, digeridoo, recording and mastering techniques. I wanted a “whole band” sound – but the songs were all so personal I had to perform them myself. The process took me more than five years.
High Bear had suggested that I should ask my wife Tanya, who’s an artist, to paint me a picture of wolves. By asking for detailed descriptions, she ended up painting a picture that combined both my dream and my vision. It’s called “Waking the Wolf”, and of course I used it for the cover art. You can’t see all the detail, because the original is 36” x 24”, and I had to trim it a bit to fit the square aspect ratio of a CD cover.
If you want to follow the Quest as it unfolded, the best way to listen to this CD is as a whole, in the dark, with a good pair of headphones…