For the wonderfully ambitious pastiche, I used as inspiration the 2nd movement of “Piano Concerto No. 2” by Philip Glass, as a jumping off place. Glass’s concerto is reflection on the Louis and Clark expedition, and movement two, “Sacajawea,” features a non-Native flute melody with what Natives would call “straight beats” accompanying it.
As an American Indian composer though, I felt I could bring a more familiar indigenous melody together with a native “heartbeat” pattern to compliment Glass’s original.
For this minute-long work, the repetitive heartbeat rhythm is counted as a quick five-count beat pattern with stressed beats on one and three: (1)-2-(3)-4-5, (1)-2-(3)-4-5, etc. The American Indian flute melody is shaped in the familiar descending pattern of many indigenous songs, and performed by the pianist whistling while he works. Yes, Nicolas will play the piano and actually whistle the flute melody as he does.
If you are in the area, please stop in and check out this very long pastiche performance, and good luck Nicolas!