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June 10, 2004

Native American Times

Marla Nauni's gift is obvious the very first time you hear her sing. The Comanche hymns she loves so much are haunting with their rhythm and their message. And that is, perhaps, one of the reasons the Concho, Oklahoma native's first CD, "Comanche Hymns performed by Marla Nauni", has been nominated for an Indian Summer Music Award (ISMA). The awards are the result of a partnership between Indian Summer Festivals and the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Office of American Indian Student Services. The ISMA is devoted to the recognition of artists, both established and emerging, and their "outstanding contributions toward indigenous music". Thirteen categories of awards are expected to be given out. Nauni is nominated in the "Traditional Vocal" division.

The album is composed of 13 traditional Comanche hymns and took about six months to record. Nauni said she has been singing since she was just 7 years old with the Comanche Children's Choir. She now sings almost exclusively a cappella (only one song on her CD has accompaniment). "Music alone has its own melody," she explained. And Nauni has been getting a lot of feedback from her elders. She said that they like how she pronounces her words - in a clear and resonating way. "The feedback I have gotten is positive," she said.

"One of the reasons I do this..." she began, "I like to perform blessing songs." Nauni said that those songs seem to touch people spiritually. "That's what I enjoy most about any of my performances." Nauni grew up in Cache, Oklahoma and is currently working on her MBA, but what Nauni wants most is to be known as Oklahoma’s Native Entertainer (ONE). “I like the entertainment industry,” she said. Nauni is a model, actress, and recording artist. She said she hopes that people will use her CD as a tool for cultural preservation.

Posted by acapnews at June 10, 2004 10:07 PM


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