Laura Lee Perkins and Ken GreenWhite Owl Products

Native American-style Flutes, Drums, Turtleshell Rattles, Balsam Sachets, Learn to Play Classes, Concerts, Recordings, Books

 
 

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Laura Lee Perkins and Ken GreenHusband and wife team Laura Lee Perkins and Kenneth Green present Learn to Play the Native American Flute classes and educational family-oriented concerts. The White Owl Duo teaches and performs throughout the United States. Their music has been described as powerfully drawing down, leading one back to the Source of their own creation. Laura's playing has a mystical, magical quality which inspires the imagination.

Laura Lee Perkins is the author of the acclaimed Native American Flute Tutor Book and Earth Mother Flute Songs for the 6-hole Native American Flute. These books bring the joy of playing the 6-hole American Indian flute to everyone, including the non-music reader, because Laura writes the music using a simplified finger numbering system. The Flute Tutor Book comes with a learn to play one-hour CD.

Kenneth Green is known throughout the world for his amazing woodworking and instrument making skills. His WHITE OWL quality 6-hole Native American flutes are sold in many countries and in museum gift shops throughout North America. WHITE OWL flutes have impeccable pitch, beautiful hand-carved fetishes, a patina that is enhanced with age, and a purity of tone quality that is unrivaled among flute makers.


The WHITE OWL DUO has recorded five albums:
  • FIRST LIGHT - a collection of 19 tunes from the Eastern Woodlands.
  • HEARTBEAT - 15 tracks of varied rhythmical accompaniments played on authentic Native American percussion instruments.
  • SOUNDS OF FEELINGS - Laura's original melodies for meditation and healing recorded on the alto flute.
  • BEARING WITNESS - Chippewa/Ojibwe tunes and original melodies that emerged from the Great Lakes area.
  • NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE TUTOR CD - included in the Native American Flute Tutor book

They were a 2004 NAMMY [Native American Music Awards] finalist for the Best Traditional Recording and were chosen four times to be Artists-in-Residence for the U.S. National Park Service. The WHITE OWL DUO has been the recipient of ten grant awards for their tireless work researching, documenting and recording authentic Native American tunes.

Native American Flute

The White Owl Story - Coincidence or a Miracle?
Laura Lee Perkins, MS

It was a steamy, hot morning during the August monsoon season in Tucson, Arizona and I was in my bathing suit, headed to the pool. At 6:45 a.m. there was no one else around. I arrived, peeled off my towel and dove into the pool. What a relief it was to swim in the desert summer. Being from Maine, here in Tucson on a sabbatical leave for one year, the searing desert heat never felt familiar or comfortable to me.

When I surfaced, I sensed that I was being watched - but as I scanned the pool deck and bath-house, I saw no one in sight. While swimming laps, a sensation of being observed still lingered and again I craned my neck to see if I had missed someone or something that might have entered the pool area. NOTHING.

About 45 minutes later, I completed my laps and stood up in the shallow end, stretching and scrutinizing my surroundings. It appeared that I was alone... but I really didn't feel alone. I shrugged off the concern and decided to relax, floating on my back. Within 30 seconds I am startled by a whoosh above my body. Still floating on my back, I opened my eyes and there was a small white pygmy owl hovering over my head!

"Now where did you come from?" I asked out loud. The tiny little owl couldn't have been more than seven or eight inches tall, and it hovered patiently, seeming to have no fear of me or my voice. "What do you want?" I asked. The owl's penetrating gaze was the only answer. I felt like it was trying to give me a message of some kind. WHAT could this owl want?

"Well," I thought, "now I know why I felt like I was being watched." The tiny owl, now perched in a nearby saguaro cactus at the edge of the pool, was still looking at me - intently. Thinking that this was odd, I continued my morning exercise routine, said goodbye to the owl and headed over to the University of Arizona campus.

The next two mornings the same owl returned to visit me at the pool. It continued its penetrating gaze and watchfulness. Every time I glanced at it the owl was watching me - intently.

I know when something unusual happens three times in succession, I need to pay attention. I wondered if this had something to do with the owl being known as a spiritual messenger? Recently I had been "putting in a request" to the universe. After a divorce a decade before and raising two children who were now both off to college, I wanted to end my ten-year relationship drought. I was very serious about wanting to meet someone special, and had made a list of the seven characteristics I wanted in a new partner. One of the items on my list was that he have an affinity for spiritual experiences! Was this tiny little white owl a messenger?

Ten months went by and I did not meet anyone special but I continued to pray for a miracle. The little owl remained as a spark of hope, although the spark was often dim.

In January I received a phone call from a spiritual church camp in Maine, asking me to teach for a week in July. I agreed and looked forward to the experience with great anticipation. Then in March I had a dream in which I heard a voice say, "You will meet someone at the camp." I trusted that dream and held on to hope, waiting for a miracle. I flew back to Maine and on my fourth day at the camp, the door opened and a male volunteer walked in. He was there to do some work on the chapel foundation. As he walked into the kitchen to get himself a cup of coffee, I heard the words: That is him. I trembled all over.

Ken joined me at the community table in the dining room where I was doing some work on my computer. After introducing himself and finally finishing his coffee, he asked if I would like to go for a walk down to the ocean shore, just a few hundred feet away. "Sure!" I replied, and jumped to my feet.

Walking down the hill beside him, trying to think of how to start an interesting conversation, I thought of the little white pygmy owl back in Tucson and asked if he knew anything about birds. He replied that he had studied birds quite a bit. My story about the little white pygmy owl at the pool in Tucson seemed to tumble out of my mouth. I had been longing to talk to someone about it who might clue me in to any possible meaning. But Ken was very quiet. We had arrived at the gravel beach and I looked at his face and felt really uncomfortable; he looked sick. I asked him if he was alright and he proceeded to tell me his white owl story: "About three days before my maternal grandmother - who raised me - passed away, she called and wanted my father and me to come and sit with her. Being one-quarter Micmac, she explained that her life on earth was ending. We knew that meant that she was close to death. She said, 'I am going Home soon, but I will return and give you a sign that I am OK. I will return as a white owl and you will know it is me.'

Two days later she died, and then we held her funeral. My father, who was 6'8" and close to 400 pounds, and I were still in our suits (we were pallbearers for her casket) on that hot August day. It was over 90 degrees and we were hot. After the funeral, Dad and I walked into a field on our 5,000 acre farm to sit on a log, where we kept coconut shells to drink water from a spring that poured out of the hill. We sat and drank the cool water - not speaking. Suddenly there was a silence so powerful that the hair stood up all over our bodies. Looking up, we saw a huge white snow owl flying silently toward us. Landing on a nearby tree branch, its yellow eyes looked first at me, then at Dad. It sat in silence for a few minutes, never breaking its gaze. Then it gently lifted off and flew away.

'Did you see that?' I asked my father. 'Yep,' he replied softly. 'She came back to let us know. Wonder how she did that, since snow owls are never here in the summer? They live way up north in the Arctic at this time of year.' "

Three days later Ken and I knew that his grandmother had brought us together, even though we were 3,000 miles apart just a short time ago, through the two white owls. Seventeen days later we moved in together and started a new business using each of our talents: Ken was a lifelong woodworker and I was a professional flutist and a writer. As White Owl Products we craft hand-made Native American style flutes, write learn to play books, produce CD recordings and Laura teaches folks how to play. The White Owl Duo came in the top five in the Traditional category of the NAMMY Awards. We have received eleven grants, five artist-in-residencies and we have driven over 75,000 miles learning everything we can about Native American music.

Honoring Ken's grandmother, his Micmac heritage and Laura's Maliseet ancestry was a wonderful way to begin our life together. We married because we trusted the owl as a spiritual messenger - a truly special totem!


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