Before playing, musician Raven Wolf transformed KDHX's small recording studio into sacred space. Raven only performs surrounded by instruments and special objects: saxophones, drums, a teapot, flowers from his grandmother's gravesite and a flute made of carved wood, with a raven on one end and a wolf on the other.
Raven plays from the heart, not improvising, but instead letting the sound come from a mysterious place within him. As he plays, Dwight Bitikofer recites or chants poetry that is full of straightforward images and little stories: a Halloween drive around St. Louis, an animal by the side of the road, a train.
Dwight's earnest poetry gives roots to Raven's otherworldly sound; they perform in a place where dreams meet the earth. Together, they call their collaboration "Spiritual Jazz Meets PoJazz."
The two are well-known figures in St. Louis. Wolf performs in front of Vintage Vinyl or at Soulard Market often, along with other stints in Missouri, including Columbia and Kansas City's Farmers Market. Dwight is an active reader and organizer in the St. Louis lit community and established the First Friday Notes reading at the Whole Foods in Town and Country.
All photos by Virginia Harold