TUAHKU: A Dark Samba for Orchestra

For large orchestra – Duration: c 10:00

The second in a series of “crossover” orchestral works that combine various popular styles and musical ideas with classical methods of development and orchestral techniques. The word, Tuahku, is an attempt to spell in English the Native American, Lushootseed name [xw´aq’w] for the place that most of us know as Mt. Rainier.  This 14,000 majestic peak is probably the best known symbol of the Pacific Northwest where the composer was living at the time he conceived and completed most of the piece. Tuahku, the “(sky) wiper” must have been an inspiration for people living near it for hundreds if not thousands of years.  As a dormant (not dead) volcano, this deceptively peaceful snow capped landmark has its dark and threatening side as it conceals tremendous power and energy far below. The subtitle, Dark Samba, refers to the “double-time” rhythmic pattern, underlying the entire piece from the crashing opening throughout the more reflective and somewhat foreboding sections. 

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Recorded on compact disc, The Skylark Sings: Music by David Kechley, Liscio 97892 (lisciorecordings.com and amazon.com)

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