Ancient Spirits

Ancient Spirits in Modern Times

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The inspiration for this piece came from a trip that I took in the Spring of 2011.  Rob Kratz had just commissioned me to write the piece and I was looking for inspiration.  The trip started in Las Vegas and took me through the Hoover dam, The Grand Canyon, The grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, and ended in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The trip took me through an amazing spectrum of culture, from the las vegas nightlife, to the ancient Native American Culture, to the amazing natural wonders of the United States of America.  I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of these three elements of the trip.  This inspired me to write a piece for multiple-percussion utilizing an electronic accompaniment showcasing modern sounds (car/industrial noises, electronic synthesizer sounds), juxtaposed with natural sounds (birds, thunder, rain) as well as tribal chants. 

After approaching Rob Kratz regarding the nature of the composition he mentioned that the School where he teaches, owns a set of pueblo style Native American Drums.  To me, it was a sign that this piece was meant to be!  The percussion part utilizes an array of instruments including a frog guiro, Audubon bird call, Native American drums, as well as traditional “modern” instruments including Vibraphone, concert bass drum, bongos, congas and two cymbals. 


Thanks to Rob Kratz and The Flint Institute of Music for commissioning this piece and allowing it to come to fruition. 

Ancient Spirits in Modern Times was premiered on March 23, 2012 at the MacArthur Recital Hall on the campus of The Flint Institute of Music.  The piece was performed as the closing piece on Rob Kratz’s Annual Faculty Recital.  

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