mardi 23 juin 2015

Michael Davids Brent - Sacajawea


When American composers are described as “native” the definition is not usually as accurate as when applied to BRENT MICHAEL DAVIDS, an American Indian and enrolled citizen of the Mohican Nation. Davids’ composer career spans 39 years, including awards from ASCAP, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, MTC, and Bush Foundation, among others. Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, his “Canyon Sunrise” commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and the 60th Anniversary of the NSO. Garrison Keillor asked Davids for an orchestra work, “Prayer & Celebration,” that premiered on “A Prairie Home Companion.” Davids was commissioned by Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer, for “Night Chant,” “Mohican Soup,” and “Un-Covered Wagon.” In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts named Davids among the nation’s most celebrated choral composers in its project “American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.” Davids “Black Hills Olowan” premiered with the Porcupine Singers and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra on SD Pubic Television. In 2014, his new opera “Purchase of Manhattan” premiered in Manhattan to rave reviews. Davids holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University (1981) and Arizona State University (1992) respectively, trained at Redford’s Sundance Institute, and apprenticed with film composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare In Love). He has garnered the Distinguished Alumni Awards from both of the universities he attended, NIU (1996) and ASU (2004).


(by the composer himself)

For Nicolas Horvath

For the wonderfully ambitious pastiche “GlassWorlds” of celebrated
pianist Nicolas Horvath, I used the 2nd movement of “Piano Concerto
No. 2” by Philip Glass, as a jumping off place. The Glass concerto is
reflection on the Louis and Clark expedition, and movement two,
“Sacajawea,” features a flute melody with varying straight beats
As an American Indian composer, I felt I could bring a flute-like
melody together with an indigenous “heartbeat” pattern as a
compliment to the original, creating the miniature “GlassWorlds—
Sacajawea” (2015). For this minute-long work, the repetitive heartbeat
rhythm is counted as a quick five-count beat with stressed beats on
one and three: (1)-2-(3)-4-5, (1)-2-(3)-4-5, etc. The American Indian
flute melody is shaped in the familiar descending pattern of many
indigenous songs, and performed by the pianist whistling while he

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