Among recent accomplishments, James Nihan's song, This Land is not Our Land, is on the Grammy-nominated CD by Becky Hobbs entitled "Nanyehi, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee", which is also a musical play funded by a grant from the Smithsonian Institute. The song is also being used to promote conservation of our natural resources. He lent his narrative voice to a documentary on the Inupiat tribe of Barrow, Alaska and Seeds of Light is the title inclusion of the Unity Church International Songbook. James' anthem, I See the Light in Everything, received the 1st Place People's Choice Award, as a 'world peace' song, from the organization Bring Peace Not Pain, supported by many artists including Yusuf (Cat Stevens). Original Notes: The journey continues...and with the CD All Creation, I have once again been inspired by so many experiences that I have felt and seen. And still I am awed by these lyrical and musical creations and I humbly thank Creator for letting me hold the pen. It is with the purest of intent that I present them. They are the perceptions of heart and spirit, and if they connect with yours, I smile like the sun. But I am already in gratitude, for I know who I am today and I love this life. (See James' Bio Below) A few words about the songs... Dragonfly is based on an experience in Tennessee on the Piney River during Circle of Fire 2003 in which don Roberto Paez created a beautiful ceremony for healing. The dragonfly was my witness as I knelt in the river to surrender an old belief. I then wrote the song in the third person. I See the Light in Everything was written on a Sunday in early 2004. Dawn was in Mexico at the Pyramid of the Sun with thousands of others and it was during the equinox. I was sitting at home in Tennessee and thinking about her experience and how all creations are connected by the Light. All Creation - I began writing this one as I drove to Massachusetts in August 2003. I was looking at how we are creators created by the Creator creating. D'you know what I mean, how there can be something divine in all we do. Even the act of making love is an act of creation and can be so much greater than it appears, connected on a higher level. A year later it had turned into a science project and I felt I had over-written the song to the point that it had no soul. I asked Dawn to collaborate with me and contribute words from the heart to replace some of my words from the overactive mind. Thank you, thank you, my dear. Samsara - At a workshop with don Miguel Ruiz at the Omega Institute in New York in 2001, I met three women, artists of the Spirit, who are from the New Jersey/Maryland area. They, and some of their friends, gather each year, don wings and dance in ceremony as the Prayer Feather Girls. When I received a Christmas card and poem from Millie in 2003, I became enchanted and inspired to write a song in honor of these women. And they have already danced to it! 'Together prayer feather angels taking flight...' Seeds of Light was written one morning outside on the farm as red-tailed hawks circled above. It just poured through and felt like a lullaby for children...and then, I realized, it was a lullaby for the children in all of us. When I played the song through for the first time, Iris, our angel dog, began wagging her tail. And then, about 60 feet away, three fawns raised their heads from the tall grass at the edge of the field. They faced me without fear, cocking their heads and listening. I felt in this amazing and emotional moment that I had connected in a pure and beautiful way with all things. Beth Brown's Last Agreement tells the story so I will let the lyrics speak for themselves. I realized in the spring of 2004 that it had been twenty-five years since I had lived in Tucson and I was remembering an old friend. It would have been nice if a book like 'The Four Agreements had been around back then... I wish you love, peace and light, - James Liner Notes If you think this CD is self-indulgent, you are right. I indulged myself to my heart's content. These songs were passionately conceived and joyfully birthed. They are the result of sleeping and waking dreams, visions, reflections and ceremonies. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all creations as well as the many messengers of inspiration who have shone light upon my path in these most recent moments of infinity, including: my beloved Dawn Zurlinden, don Miguel Ruiz (author of the 'Four Agreements'), don Jose & Judy Ruiz, Ted and Peggy Raess, Roberto Paez, Allan Hardman, the Tennessee Transcendence Group & the Prayer Feather Girls. Special thanks to Duane Sciacqua and all the musicians who have blessed this creation. As the smoke clears, perceptions change and my heart awakens to the sweetest dream. - In Love, James - In remembrance of my dear friend Beth Brown - The Players James Nihan: Vocals, acoustic guitars, harmonica, Native American flute, ocarina, piano, Tibetan bowl, windchimes, rainstick & stump drum / Dawn Zurlinden: Vocals, keyboard, shaker & tambourine / Duane Sciacqua: Electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, drums, brushes on paper & piano / Aodh Og O Tuama: Pennywhistle, gemshorn / Christy Martin: Sitar, hammered dulcimer / Michael Stidolph: Dobro & mandolin / Brian Hinchliffe: Bass / Gantt Kees: Drums & tambourine / Kevin Ball: Djembe JAMES' BIOGRAPHY Massachusetts native James Nihan began playing guitar at age nine and writing songs at fourteen. He was first influenced by the music of Tom Rush, John Prine, Mickey Newberry, Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor. He began performing at age nineteen, appearing throughout New England at venues that include The Folkway, The Pressroom, The Sword In The Stone, The Me & Thee and The Grog. After the blizzard of '78 struck, on his twenty-first birthday, he left New England in search of warmer climes. He entertained throughout Texas, Arizona and California from 1979-87. In 1980 his songs were commended by Arizona governor, Bruce Babbitt and Berkeley, California poet, Gene Fowler, presented James with an award for the song poem 'The Hardest Road', saying it reminded him of old sonnets. James also wrote and produced radio commercials for anglo and hispanic markets in Los Angeles, at the same time performing at rodeos, folk societies and vineyard restaurants. James moved to Nashville in 1987 to continue a career in songwriting. He was first published by Ed Bruce and George Strait. In 1990 he was voted 'Songwriter Of The Year' by the Tennessee Songwriters Association. 'I Can See Arkansas' was released by Anne Murray and went Top 10 in Canada. It can also be found on albums released by David Ball and Steve Wariner (Country), Larry Stephenson (Bluegrass) and Ninjaman (Reggae). The late great songwriter, Harlan Howard, who penned thousands of songs (I Fall To Pieces, Busted, Heartaches By The Number), acted as publisher and mentor for James from 1990-95. Other publishers include EMI Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group. He has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs. His songs have been performed on the Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits, Nashville Now, The Regis Philbin Show, CMT and more. Appearances include the Kerrville Folk Festival and Mountain Stage. He was featured poet at the Annual Poetry Fair at the College of San Mateo in California. He founded and hosted the annual 'New England Songwriters Show' held at Nashville's renowned Bluebird Café. Past guest artists include Peter McCann, Barry & Holly Tashian, Dave Mallett, Gary Burr, Cindy Bullens, David Olney, Jon Pousette-Dart, John Scott Sherrill, Jess Leary and Robert Ellis Orrall. He has taught songwriting to children through the non-profit 'Words & Music' program at the Country Music Hall of Fame for many years, and he now brings his songwriting workshops into schools across the country. He has worked with patients in addiction and psychiatric treatment, where poetry and music are used to encourage self-expression and healing. In 1995 he released the CD 'Mirror Boxes & Diamond Rings'. Performing Songwriter magazine said, 'Nihan is the lonesome preacher...with a voice thick as molasses, (he) tells the tales of the lover, the loser and the lucky survivor.' The CD 'Rays Of Light' was released in late 2003. The songs are uplifting and from the heart, inspired by Toltec and Native American wisdom. Jean Pumphrey, Literary Director of the Marin Poetry Center said, 'In the songs of James Nihan we enter a world of artistry. Here is a poet's voice painting in sound and image a portrait of where love lives.' Toltec teacher, don Roberto Paez, said, 'A loving tribute to the power of transformation! James Nihan has created a refreshingly honest and moving memoir, a chronicle of awakening to the sweetness of life.' "All Creation" was released in 2005. The heartfelt songs are both meditative and contemplative and incorporate a variety of instruments including sitar, gemshorn, pennywhistle and hammered dulcimer. The West Virginia Register-Herald said, 'James' music transcends barriers; it speaks to all of us.' 'His music brings joy to the soul and is the perfect music to grow and learn by,' wrote Sheri Rosenthal, DPM, author of The Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom. In 2008 James again released a CD inspired by his spiritual path. The poetic storytelling of "Murals" is the result of new thoughts, dreams and meditations, both at home and at the pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico. Other creative endeavors include a screenwriting collaboration (with the well-known recording artist/actor Ed Bruce), poetry, photography and a novel that will be published soon. James resides on a farm in the hills of Tennessee with his wife, singer/songwriter and experiential therapist, Dawn Zurlinden, their too-smart Aussie dogs, Iris and Angel...and a few stray cats.