Winter Moons Orchestra, Frank J. Toth – Winter Moons (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 48:41 minutes | 433 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Azica Records
On Friday, August 5, 2022, Chickasaw composer and U.S. Cultural Ambassador Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate will release a new album, Winter Moons, on Azica Records. Winter Moons is a ballet in four movements based upon American Indian legends from the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains, performed with a live storyteller to guide the audience. The title of the ballet is derived from the ancient idea that American Indian stories – some serious historical narratives, and others lighthearted bedtime stories for children, but all usually carrying a moral – are best told during the full moons of the wintertime. Winter Moons was Tate’s very first composition, commissioned by and dedicated to his mother, choreographer Dr. Patricia Tate. Spirit Chief Names the Animal People was part of the original version of Winter Moons and is now performed as a separate work with narrator.Patricia Tate shares, “According to the Osage, the Moon is a woman, and all women are symbolic of life. In the ballet, the four moons represent the four seasons of life. Winter Moon tells of the culmination of life as she rises majestically to the spirit world.”
The ballet weaves together stories about Puberty Blessing Songs, a rite of passage for young Lakota women; the Indian spirit at Mesa Falls, a tragic Shoshone tale of two lovers getting swept away by a waterfall; the Medicine Wheel, in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, a place of great importance to Northern Plains Indians; and the Pend d’Oreilles legend of Bitterroot Valley, when an old woman cried upon the earth during a famine and her tears formed the roots of a new plant, a bitter edible blossom that fed her people.
Spirit Chief Names the Animal People is an Okanagan story in which The Great Chief calls all animals together to inform them that a new kind of people are coming to live on the earth. Each animal was instructed to come back at the first morning light to choose their new name to be called forever. Each wanted a proud name and more power, and all were determined to get up early and hurry to be the first to choose its fate. Jerod Tate says, “For the Indian, the coyote represents the ultimate, negative example: a quick-witted schemer with a glib tongue. His greatest flaw is pride and self-importance. In his scheming ways, he always claims more than he is capable of, regardless of the consequences.”
Coyote boasted that no one would be ahead of him, and said he would not sleep that night so he could be the first to be named by the Great Spirit Chief. As the night passed, and Coyote’s eyes grew heavy. He picked up two sticks and braced his eyelids apart, but soon he was fast asleep, although his eyes were propped open.
Early in the morning, Coyote jumped at the sound of his wife Mole’s voice and ran to the lodge of the Spirit Chief, but it was too late. He had been asleep while all the other animals took their new names. Coyote sank down in front of the Great Spirit Chief and the heart of the Great Chief was touched. He was so impressed by Coyote’s ability to think for himself, although to selfish ends, that he reversed the importance of the animals and put Coyote in charge of finishing up the world. The Great Chief said, “It is for you to conquer the people. For doing that, for all the good things you do, you will be honored and praised by the people that are here now, and that come afterward. But, for the foolish and mean things you do, you will be laughed at and despised. That you cannot help. It is your way.
1-01. Winter Moons Orchestra – I. Opening – Winter Moon – Puberty Blessing Songs (13:10)
1-02. Winter Moons Orchestra – II. The Indian Spirit at Mesa Falls (09:36)
1-03. Winter Moons Orchestra – III. Chief Red Plume and the Medicine Wheel – The Origin of Bitterroot (07:33)
1-04. Winter Moons Orchestra – IV. She Runs With the Wind – Finale (06:30)
1-05. Winter Moons Orchestra – Spirit Chief Names the Animal People (Arr. for Chamber Orchestra) I. Coyote (02:16)
1-06. Winter Moons Orchestra – Spirit Chief Names the Animal People (Arr. for Chamber Orchestra) II. Bear (02:18)
1-07. Winter Moons Orchestra – Spirit Chief Names the Animal People (Arr. for Chamber Orchestra) III. Salmon (01:57)
1-08. Winter Moons Orchestra – Spirit Chief Names the Animal People (Arr. for Chamber Orchestra) IV. Eagle (03:26)
1-09. Winter Moons Orchestra – Spirit Chief Names the Animal People (Arr. for Chamber Orchestra) V. Coyote [Reprise] (01:51)