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Six Dream Songs, six Songs and Poems of native Americans, for oboe, clarinet and bassoon

Six Dream Songs, Songs and poems of native Americans,
for oboe, clarinet and bassoon

Premiere in Boston (MA), April 30, 2005

Six Dreams Songs was inspired by the set of poems Native American Songs and Poems, an Anthology, Edited by Brian Swann, Dover Thrift Editions, 1997.
Dream songs formed the chief feature of the Dream dance cult and were given in sleep by a dead friend or relative. The Land of the Dead is Above and the Milky way is the road the spirits travel to their final resting place. In the music, I tried to recreate the essence of the Wintu's poems.

The piece is divided into six short movements, and hopefully will convey an array of feelings evoked by the text.

  1. Playful harmony and high register are supposed to symbolize the trail "above", on the milky way where You and I Shall Go.
  2. Minnow and Flowers are represented by forward and backward motion. Ambiguous metric patterns abound.
  3. Sleep: Compound meter and slowly rising melodic lines in intertwining Phrygian modes eventually reach the jagged rim of the sky in parallel motion.
  4. Mainly in whole tone scale, and in a 5/8 meter, this movement tends to recreate the feeling of swaying, dandelion puffs.
  5. There Above: An alternating thirds eighth-notes motive, an octatonic scale, some downward glissandi in the clarinet, and a final rising scale: all these will hopefully convey the sense of Flowers bend heavily on their stems.
  6. Strange flowers takes us back to the dancing rhythm of the first movement, but this time, strange syncopations bloom in the west, and bend to the east.

Created by Daniel Aberdam. Thanks to Catherine Heyman for her help when building this site