THE SINGING WOODS

 

(12:00) Electric String Quartet, with Apache Violin, percussion and prepared bows. Copyright Fee: Score. Music Copyright 1994, Brent Michael Davids.

 

THE singing woods, written especially for the Kronos Quartet, uses a single-string Apache violin, distinctively designed percussion instruments, and hand-fashioned leather, silk and velvet bows. Apaches call their violins “tsii’edo’a’tl” or “wood that sings” as they are constructed from dried Agave stalks. The musical work of the same name voices a triple meaning: the wood instruments of the Kronos, the Apache violin, and the indigenous forests of Native America. "Singing Woods" parallels the cycles of life as the various woods “sing” the seasons of the earth into existence. Our woods and our people, together, invite each season to arrive like a cherished relative. Like vigilant midwives, we birth out intimate songs, then learn to sing them aloud and, together, create the medley of our world. In truth and in fact, the eternal song of the seasons is our own song. A beautifully hand-notated manuscript, "Singing Woods" draws from American Indian sound patterns evocative of nature. The score calls for extended instrumental techniques and microtones that add coloristic dimensions.

 

"The Singing Woods" was commissioned by Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman for the Kronos Quartet, and premiered at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ, in 1994.