WAMPE: Goodwater

 

(6:40) SATB Chorus, Quartz Crystal Flute (or orchestral flute substitute), shaker, orchestra bells, crotales, skin drum (or tom substitute), 4 timpani, cello. Copyright Fee: Score, parts. Music and Lyrics Copyright 1993, Brent Michael Davids.

 

Wampe affirms the life-giving respect that all indigenous peoples and Mohicans in particular give to the water, and similarly "Wampe" means "good-water" in Mohican. The text of "Wampe" consists entirely of the word "wampe" and Native American "vocables," while the musical phrases immerse themselves in imagery of the Mohican creation story. As the story flows, the earth was once water below and the sky was water above. A woman from above decided to come below through a whole in the sky. She flew down to the water, tested the stability of the water with her foot and became impregnated as a result. A turtle under the water looked up at the visitor and saw she had no place to stand. So, the turtle floated on the surface and offered her its back. Grateful, the woman gave the turtle the gift of growth and stood on the turtle. The turtle was thankful and grew larger and larger until it became the land. The woman gave birth to the trees that covered the land and the water people rose up onto the land to became the Mohicans or "People of the Ever-Moving Waters."

 

"Wampe" was a finalist in the Dale Warland choral reading series in 1993.