Whale People is the collaborative musical project led by Brooke Hamre Gillespie featuring a revolving ensemble of artists. This Whale People performance will include musicians Matthew Canale and Ramani (Renee Finklestein). Whale People creates sounds from an array of acoustic instruments including voice, quartz crystal singing bowls, harmonium, guitar, sitar, Tibetan singing bowls, bells, tuning forks, flutes, recorder, mbira, violin, gong, percussion, tabla, and synthesizer. Whale People makes music with intention to communicate beyond cultural and linguistic borders, to heal, to inspire, to awaken, to meditate, and to bring our bodies, hearts, and minds into resonance, peace and harmony.
Brooke Gillespie is a visionary song-writer, composer, and musician, and a singer of traditional songs from all over the world. She is a gifted energy and sound healer and has been holding concerts, workshops, sound baths, and other sound based events, including children's music classes in NYC for over 10 years. Brooke is a vocalist as well as a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, violin, piano, keyboards, harmonium, flute, crystal singing bowls, and other instruments. She is a founding member of the musical groups KA, Arc Ra, and the collaborative project Whale People. She is actively involved in the Golden Drum community and a student of Maestro Manuel Rufino, learning the traditional native healing ways. Her mission in life is to assist in the awakening and the opening of the hearts of humanity through the universal language of music.
Matthew Canale has been a student of Maestro Manuel Rufino for the past 4 years. During that time he has studied Native American music as well as the sacred songs from other indigenous people from around the world. Matthew has focused his musical studies on singing and percussion including the Native American water drum, hand drum, tabla, and djembe. He also has a great love for kirtan and other forms of chanting.
Ramani (Renee Finkestein) has spent four and a half years abroad learning the art of opening the heart with song and chant from the masters of devotional yoga. She has also studied Sanskrit and has initiation in nada yoga, the science of using sound to access deeper levels of consciousness. While abroad, she undertook several pilgrimages through the mountains of India, Nepal, and Tibet. Ramani is now in the Woodstock-based a capella group Prana and teaches musicianship and vocal training through Indian and Western practices, awareness cultivation, and subtle attunement.