The North American Indian Cello Project began thanks to the vision of Howard Bass, Georgia Wettlin-Larsen and Brent Michael Davids during the first Classical Native program at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in November 2006. For the first time I performed chamber music with talented Native American classical musicians who shared a socio-political and spiritual perspective. Our music, though all very unique, perhaps came from a similar place – one of being with nature, with conflict, with reparation, with heart and mind. The Classical Native program, as I understood it, was not just about exploring the rich contributions that we as Indigenous people are making to the world of contemporary classical music, but also a meeting ground for Native musicians to explore our world as living artists; thus, collaborations, deep respect, and rich musical friendships began. I am privileged and inspired by this project and continue to commission new compositions as part of a recording of North American Indian classical cello works. I sincerely thank the composers and performers for bringing their vision to life and giving me the opportunity to be part of it. The funding for most of the original works was graciously provided by a grant from the First Nations Composers Initiative project supported through the Ford Foundation's Indigenous Knowledge, Expressive Culture grant program of the American Composers Forum. -- Dawn Avery
A hard copy of a 6 minute educational demo CD and an 11 minute demo DVD of the first NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN CELLO PROJECT is available upon request or on my website.
Please refer to the website that includes both the audio and visual components, as well as excerpted scores, bios of composers and performers, an ethnography of the website, photos, press, programs, commissioning information, NMAI performances and links. Additions will include new pieces as they are premiered and commissioned, as well as scholarly articles and research.
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