Kokopelli Dances for Flute and Chamber Orchestra
EBM MP071014/ HL 367920
Flute Solo, Timp.Perc(5): Pno/Clst.Hp: Str
Kokopelli is the name of a mythical Native American character whose likeness can be found on the rock walls in the American Southwest, and as far south as Belize. These pictographs and petroglyphs depict a character with a flute and a humpback. Seen by some as a beneficent god and by others as a nuisance, a trickster, his image and antics seemed perfect for a musical composition by the composer after a trip to New Mexico introduced him to the character. Scored for solo flute, harp, celeste, piano, five percussionists, and string orchestra, the work maintains a percussive sonority, requiring the string players to play col legno for much of the time. While written in a single movement, the work is divided into five sections. No actual Native American melodies or rhythms are used in KOKOPELLI DANCES, as the composer did not want to appear to imitate authentic sounds, though there is a connection in Jager's use of repeated figures, and embellishments that bring to mind the music of the Southwestern Natice American.