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Classical Compositions/ Recordings

Tulpe (2008)

Wanbli Galeshka (Spotted Eagle, Lakota)
Dawn Avery & Sarah Davol

​Contemporary classical chamber music based on Native themes by Mohawk composer, Dawn Avery and Englewinds director, Sarah Davol.  Lovers of Classical Music, Native American Culture, Woodwinds, Percussion and Strings, or one of the newest genres in Music (Contemporary Native Classical) will like this CD!

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Viento (2006)

Recording by the duo CelloVision! with

Dawn Avery (Cello/Voice) & Tom McGrath (Percussion)

Chamber music using indigenous themes written for modern dance
“Working with Dawn Avery creates the perfect collaboration between dancer, composer, and choreographer, where creativity and innovation can thrive. Dawn has a wonderful talent for composing and performing for modern dance.”  -Mimi Garrard of Mimi Garrard Dance Theatre Co., NYC

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Fringe (2008/2010)                                                                                    
Originally composed for violin, cello,  rattles, hand-drum, brake drums, and narrator by Dawn Avery, Composer and Janet-Marie Rogers, poet

This chamber music features audience participants playing rattles and singing an Iroquois stomp-dance, as part of a mixed-media collaboration.  During the performance the singers are placed around the periphery of the theatre as part of the exploration of "marginalization."  The piece consists of a layering of textures, representing the many aspects of living within with overlapping worlds, along with many ways of looking at marginalization. T hanks to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Expressive Collaboration Grant, the concept of varied textures along with diverse artistic and native sensibilities in regard to “the fringe” are powerfully expressed in the poetic narration, entitled "Distractions/ Misconceptions," written for this work by Mohawk/ Tuscarora poet\-laureate and performance artist, Janet-Marie Rogers.  A film by N’iaka’Pamux/Secwepemc film-maker, Chris Bose was created to be shown along with the work, using footage from the 40s, 50s, and 60s about British Colombia’s Indian residential schools, Vancouver Harbor, early pow wows, and everyday aboriginal life before children were removed.  This archival footage shows different aspects of the Canadian aboriginal experience. Ideally, the film should be shown on the walls around the theatre – in its margins.

MP3 recording will be available here soon.

Hohonkweta’ka:ionse (2010)  for String Quartet     
Dawn Avery, Composer
Premiered by the Covington String Quartet

This recording features the last of three movements.  The piece was written in honor of our ancestors.  Avery started writing the first movement of Hohonkweta’ka:ionse, Mohawk word for ancestors, during a residency at Memorial University in New Foundland.  There she learned about the Beothuk, the original aboriginal peoples of the area who were believed to be extinct.  Through existing songs, this belief is now being challenged.  Traveling along the coast, it seemed that the ancestral voices of these people could be heard in the melodic winds, snow banks, ocean waves and ancient rocks.   Inspired to write a piece honoring my own ancestors, I decided to employ two specific pitch-set devices, one of a five note scale (reminiscent of the stereotypical “pentatonic” understanding of Native American melodic content) and the other she called “nesting and rotation.”  In the first movement, subtitled "len’le:iahle’ (they remember)," the original row consists of G, Db, Eb, F and C and occurs immediately as “nested” harmonies that rotate over a tonic of Db and a melodic pedal-tone of high G in the violin.  Especially interested in sonic textures, she asks the quartet to use a variety of bows and bowing techniques, imploring the audience to listen, pay attention and at times become uncomfortable as the ancestors make their voices known.  The second movement, subtitled, "tewe:iahle’ (we remember)," is based on the pivot note Bb which was briefly introduced toward the end of the first movement.  In this movement the musicians are asked to whisper-sing the syllables of the title of the piece, which occurs at the “climax” of the composition, emphasizing the important vibrational qualities found in aboriginal languages.  Various compositional techniques are hinted at, inspired by the powerful work of Bartok in his string writing.  The third movement, subtitled, "hakwe:kon tewatahonsatats (we all listen)," is based on the remaining set of notes from the twelve-tone row.  Its short length and vivace tempo is more like a coda propelling us to do what the ancestors have told us.  This live recording of the third movement was performed by the Covington String Quartet at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. 

MP3 recording will be available here soon.

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