NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

(16:00) Electric String Quartet, with Apache Violin, Bow Shakers, Mini-Raspers, and text. Copyright Fee: Score. Music Copyright 1996, Brent Michael Davids.

 

Native American National AntheM was composed for the Kronos Quartet as an Honor Song dedicated to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. The musical theme emerges similar to the way singers lead songs around the drum, by having the lead string player begin high on the melody and the other strings “join in” a moment later. In the work's 4 sections, the historical realities of America are portrayed through a single melodic device: an American Indian “National Anthem.” The theme is developed into 4 movements, each covering a different time period in mood and expression. Movement 1, “Old World,” portrays indigenous Americas prior to colonization. Movement 2, “New World,” portrays the early contact period in New England with its early conflicts and diseases, and quotes the doxology hymn on the Apache Violin. The Apache Violin is a single-stringed indigenous instrument made from the stalk of an Agave plant. Movement 3, “Post World,” portrays the contemporary conflicts, injustices and continuing struggles, and includes a statement authored by political prisoner Leonard Peltier especially for this work. Movement 4, “Earth World,” portrays our Indigenous strength and persistence into the future as an empowering conclusion.

 

1: Old World. 2: New World. 3: Post World. 4: Earth World.