GUARDIANS OF THE GRAND CANYON

 

(22:00) Quartz Crystal Soprano Flute, Metal Flute, Clay Flute, Wood Flute, Percussion, and Havasupai Ram Dancers. Copyright Fee: Score. Music Copyright 2000, Brent Michael Davids.

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GRAND CANYON is an actual Havasupai Ram Dance composed into a modern piece of chamber music. The title is taken from the name of a group of Havasupai dancers whose art and life are incorporated within the piece. The Havasupai have lived for hundreds of years on the rim or floor of the Grand Canyon. Unlike Ferde Grofe's familiar "Grand Canyon Suite" whose descriptive agenda is limited to the canyon's physical attributes, Davids's "Guardians of the Grand Canyon" offers an alternative perspective. This latter composer's view of this natural wonder focuses on the indigenous people who have lived there for centuries. Characteristic of this approach, a rare ceremonial Havasupai Ram Dance is actually composed into the concert work. Additionally is also designed to create an illusion of hearing the music from within the vast spaces of the Grand Canyon.

 

"Guardians of the Grand Canyon" was commissioned by the American Composers Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts as part of a nationwide project called "Continental Harmony," was premiered at Grand Canyon Music Festival on the south rim of the Grand Canyon in 2000, and was featured on the "Continental Harmony" program on PBS-TV in 2001.