America's premier postclassical string quartet, ETHEL,
recently announced the recording and creation of a new album of
contemporary classical works by 11 American Indian students (ages
13-19) of the Chickasaw Nation. Slated for a Summer 2010 release
on the Thunderbird Records label, the album is the first in history
to release works of American Indian student composers (students
of composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, a citizen of and
official composer-in-residence of the Chickasaw Nation). The recording
session will take place Jan. 22-24 at Oklahoma City University's
Wanda L. Bass School of Music.
recording project is made possible by the Chickasaw Nation and Gov.
Bill Anoatubby, and is part of the ongoing groundbreaking initiatives
created by the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities.
ETHEL has brought several workshops, tours, and performances to
hundreds of children of American Indian reservations over the ensemble's
11-year history, both as part of ETHEL's TruckStop® project,
as well as in its role as Ensemble-in-Residence as part of the Native
American Composers Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). Collectively,
these experiences add an essential ingredient to the album.
been so enriched by the people, cultures, and sounds we've
experienced over the years that we feel utterly compelled to share
them through music," said Ralph Farris, violist for ETHEL.
"By working with young Native composers who have written music
for string quartet, we give these children a chance to hear their
music be performed by professional musicians."
has an unbelievable ability to express multiple styles of expression
at the drop of a hat. This will be a lifechanging experience for
these young composers," said composer Jerod Tate. All 11 students
actively participate in all aspects of the album's recording from
start to finish.
to Alan Bise, producer/owner of Thunderbird Records, it is imperative
that these students are involved in every possible way.
the recording session, the composition students will be with me
in the control room to co-produce the session. That is, they will
discuss with ETHEL how they'd like their music to be performed,
and what kind of feeling they are trying to convey. During classical
recording sessions, we do not often get to collaborate with living
composers, so the student's involvement brings extra meaning
to this recording." Also, in conjunction with the Chickasaw
Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, Thunderbird Records will
hold an artwork contest to help determine the album's cover
whether it's a painting, drawing, or photograph.
Acclaimed as America's premier postclassical
string quartet, ETHEL boldly infuses contemporary concert music
with fierce intensity, questioning the boundaries between performer
and audience, tradition and technology. Formed in 1998, New York's
ebullient ETHEL is comprised of Juilliard-trained performers Cornelius
Dufallo (violin), Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello) and
Mary Rowell (violin).
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate was born in 1968 in Norman, Oklahoma
and is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Mr. Tate is dedicated
to the development of American Indian classical composition, and
a recent review by The Washington Post states that "Tate's connection
to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece
still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with
American Indian nationalism." This review was a response to a recent
performance of Iholba (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and
Chorus, which was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra
and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Thunderbird Records is dedicated to capturing and preserving the
music of contemporary American Indians for distribution across the
world. All Thunderbird releases include music by Indian composers
or performances by Indian musicians. We strive for the highest artistic
integrity as well as exceptional sonic quality in order to provide
an outstanding listening experience.
Nation Division of Arts and Humanities
The study of the arts and humanities is necessary to the success
of the Chickasaw Nation. The disciplines highlight the culture by
expressing the beauty, strength, intelligence and spirit of the
people and enhance the rich legacy of who Chickasaws were, who they
are and who they will be.