Recording OSHTALI- Featuring the Works Of Young Chickasaw Composers
is now available on Thunderbird Records
Okla. - Recognized as the first album in history with solely works
by American Indian student-composers, OSHTALI ("divide into
four parts"), is the latest CD to feature the Grammy-nominated
string quartet, ETHEL.
16-song collection showcases the contemporary classical music of
students of the Chickasaw Nation Summer Arts Academy of Ada, Okla.
Recently released, OSHTALI is sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation
and is part of ongoing groundbreaking initiatives created by the
Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities.
Bise, Producer/Owner of Thunderbird Records and Co-Producer of OSHTALI,
first heard the students' works a few years ago and decided they
would make an intriguing project. "These student works captured
my attention by both their complexity and their simplicity. These
student compositions are surprisingly sophisticated, and they bring
a heritage and point of view to the music unlike anything we are
accustomed to hearing. I'm excited to be part of this tribute to
both the past and the future of the Chickasaw Nation," says
Bise. Also, in conjunction with the Chickasaw Nation Division of
Arts and Humanities, Thunderbird Records held an artwork contest
to help determine the album's cover image which resulted in the
winning painting by Mercedes Milligan.
11 students, ages 13 to 21, studied music composition at the Chickasaw's
Summer Arts Academy in 2008 and '09, under the tutelage of Chickasaw
composer-in-residence, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate. "It's
a life-changing experience because two years ago, they wrote their
first piece ever," explains Tate. "And now they're releasing
an album of their works into the classical world."
the recording session at Oklahoma City University's Wanda L. Bass
School of Music earlier this year, the student-composers participated
in all aspects of the album recording from start to finish.
to 13-year old Aubrey Halford, having ETHEL record her compositions,
entitled Stages and Lullaby, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"It was a great experience to get to work with a group of such
is dedicated to playing contemporary music and has worked with young
American Indian composers before.
been so enriched by the people, cultures, and sounds of the Chickasaw
Nation that we feel utterly compelled to share them through music,"
says Ralph Farris, violist for ETHEL.
Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said "we are extremely pleased
to be part of this innovative project. These students are incredibly
talented and they should be very proud of what they have accomplished,"
said Gov. Anoatubby.
goal was to inspire these students to pursue their dreams. Now,
as they share their music with the world, they are sure to inspire
the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy
The Chickasaw Nation is the only tribe in the United States that
sponsors its own fine arts academy. Chickasaw and American Indian
students, ages 8-19, major in Art, Dance, Literature, Music Composition,
Theatre and Video Production, culminating in a grand public performance
at the end of the academy. On the recommendation of Jerod Tate,
Governor Bill Anoatubby approved the student composition recording
project, and the tribe has further invited ETHEL to be the first
American modern classical ensemble to perform at their inaugural
Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival in 2011.
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 Julliard-trained performers: Cornelius Dufallo (violin), Ralph
Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello) and Mary Rowell (violin).
ETHEL performs adventurous music of the past four decades including
repertoire by Julia Wolfe, Phil Kline, David Lang, John Zorn, Steve
Reich, JacobTV, Scott Johnson, Don Byron, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporyn,
and Mary Ellen Childs. ETHEL's latest recording, Light (Cantaloupe
Records), was selected as #3 on Amazon.com's "Best of 2006:
Top Classical Editor's Picks."
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. It strives for the highest
artistic integrity as well as exceptional sonic quality in order
to provide an outstanding listening experience. For more information,