The Three Sounds of Creation

Hosted by Christine Stevens
With Guillermo Martinez

Discover the ancient cosmology of the three sounds of creation — drums, rattles, and flutes — with master instrument maker and recording artist Guillermo Martinez.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • The use of drumming connected to each person's birth
  • Many types of rattles, including those made from butterfly cocoons and ant hill pebbles
  • The power of the Native Flute as a tool of the upper realm
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Guillermo Martinez

Instrument Maker, Musician

“His love and passion for crafting musical instruments was innate, but the knowledge that he now possesses could only be possible with the guidance of those masters who came before him.” Over the decades, Guillermo Martinez apprenticed under several practiced and generous master teachers. Each taught him to use and honor gifts from the earth, and to make them sing. In the early years of Guillermo's career, he dutifully trained with Kensuro, a master Japanese woodworker. In Guillermo's twenties he left his parents’ house to begin his path as an instrument maker. His journey took him to Alaska, where he refined his skills with Tlingit woodworkers.

In the early 90s, Guillermo met his first mentor, Xavier Quijas Xyayotl (an expert craftsman in Mesoamerican instruments and art), at the Rose Bowl swap meet in Los Angeles. Xavier taught him to create ancient Mayan flute replicas with clay. For many years they performed together throughout the United States, always creating the instruments they used. He later met his friend and mentor Agustin Rodiles “Tzinzuni” who helped him refine his skills in wood carving, propelling his artistic endeavors even further. He was now on the path to becoming a master and innovator of his craft. With the knowledge passed down from mentors and teachers throughout his life, he began developing these sacred instruments in his own style, while always honoring the traditions of the ancestors. Utilizing both Mesoamerican and Northern Native American styles and techniques, he created his unique instruments. After years of training, he finds that his strongest tools continue to be his hands and his vision, looking to nature and his dreams for designs and inspiration. ​

Like his teachers before him, Guillermo has always been inspired to share his craft, heritage, and traditions with those around him, passing this knowledge to future generations. He has worked as a teacher at several different Waldorf schools, and has also facilitated workshops at schools throughout California. His workshops have taken him around the world to share his sacred instruments and wisdom with people everywhere. He has had several apprentices, each one eventually taking their own journey (with his blessing) to create sacred instruments. He's grateful that he's able to teach anywhere, from his wild California backyard to ancient shrines in Japan. He deeply admires seeing that the human connection to animals, land, and music are universal, regardless of age, place, and language. He finds it an honor to devote his time to creating these sacred instruments, and to continue sharing his knowledge with the world. 

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