Music Mondays - Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate

Happy Monday!

On Sunday afternoon (aka yesterday), the Tulsa Symphony performed at the 33rd annual OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville. It was an exciting program that included Firebird by Stravinsky, a few selections by Mozart (of course!) and a world premiere by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate.

There is good news and bad news about this blog post.

The good: highlighting a very cool, humble, and immensely talented living composer

The bad: Not having any recordings of the premiere to share with you because it just happened yesterday.

Bear with me, and I promise to share some awesome sounds by this week's featured artist!

photo credit: Martha Mattes

photo credit: Martha Mattes

A little bit about the composer (from his website ):

Praised and honored for “his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism” (Washington Post), Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, born in Norman, Oklahoma, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition.

In 2016, Tate was selected as one of five composer-orchestra pairs to participate in Music Alive, a national three-year residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. As Composer-in-Residence with South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO), Tate will be participating in the third phase of SDSO’s Lakota Music Project.

His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Canterbury Voices, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Colorado Ballet, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Philadelphia Classical Symphony and Santa Fe Desert Chorale. He is a three-time commission recipient from the American Composers Forum and he received a 2011 Emmy Award for his work on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority documentary, The Science of Composing.

Tate earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and his Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music, from whom he received the 2006 Alumni Achievement Award. In 2008, he was appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma.

Works available are Iholba’ (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, recorded by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, on the Grammy Award winning label Azica Records.

Tate’s recent commissions include his Muscogee Hymn Suite for Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, his Ponca Indian Cantata for Hildegard Center for the Arts and his Chickasaw oratorio, Misha’ Sipokni’ (The Old Ground), for Canterbury Voices and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Tate has held Composer-in-Residence roles for Oklahoma City’s NewView Summer Academy, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum and Grand Canyon Music Festival Native American Composer Apprentice Project. Tate was the founding composition instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and taught composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis, MN and Native students in Toronto, Ontario.

Mr. Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “his high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name.  A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables.  In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corncrib was built high off of the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals.

The Tulsa Symphony commissioned Muscogee Hymn Suite, Symphonic Benediction for Solo Baritone, Children’s Chorus and Orchestra for this specific performance, conducted by the composer himself.

I particularly love how informative and educational Tate's performances are. This is the third performance of his music I have taken part in, and at each one, I have learned a little bit about the culture and traditions infused, quoted, and transformed into orchestral experiences.

From Tates website again, here is more information about the Muscogee Hymn Suite and our performance:

Muscogee Hymn Suite is an orchestration of five traditional Muscogee (Creek) church hymns. One very unique artistic result of European contact is the American Indian church hymn. As missionaries fanned out across Indian Country they became the first to document our Native languages and create translations of The Bible and other Christian texts, including church hymns. This lead to a new series of a hybrid music, composed by tribal citizens. For Southeast American Indians (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole) this hybrid style of music is now over 200 years old and contains a vast repertoire. The music is unmistakably Native and created a third category of traditional music alongside stomp dancing music and our old folk songs. The hymn transcriptions of this work are based on the singing of Curtis Scott, a traditional Muscogee singer living in Oklahoma City.

(Prayer Hymn)
Hesaketvmeset likes,
God dwells,
Nak omvlkvn hahicvtet,
He created all things,
Em penkalit, mekusapis,
I fear Him, so I pray,
Cv cukwvn es vkvsamis.
I praise Him with my mouth.II. CESVS MEKKO
(Praise Hymn)
Cesvs Mekko hulwen likes,
Jesus the King dwells in heaven,
Hvlwe tvlofv min.
There in heaven.
Cesvs Mekko hulwen likes,
Jesus the King dwells in heaven,
Hvlwe tvlofv min.
There in heaven.Vnemit ahyit erhecares,
I’ll go myself and see,
Hvlwe tvlofv min.
There in heaven.
Vnemit ahyit erhecares,
I’ll go myself and see,
Hvlwe tvlofv min.
There in heaven.III. CEHOTOSAKVTES
(Encouragement Hymn)
Cehotosakvtes, cenaorakvtes,
Do not be weary, do not be troubled,
Momis komet, awacken,
Keep striving, you all come,
O vpeyvkvres, hvlwen.
O we will go, to heaven.

(Praise Hymn)
Vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres.
We will go, we will go, we will go.
Vnokeckvt omecicen,
Because of love,
Vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres.
We will go, we will go, we will go, we will go.
Eyasketv omecicen,
Because of humbleness,
Vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres, vpeyakvres.
We will go, we will go, we will go, we will go.

(Dismissal Hymn)
Ce mekusapeyvte,
We have prayed to You,
Momusen tem vwahes,
At this we dismiss,
Cen herketvn pu ‘wahlvs,
Give us Your peace,
Momet ‘sepu wahecvs.
And then dismiss us.

Mohmen yvmv ekvnv,
And then this earth,
Enkvpvkake yofvt,
When we leave it,
Cen liketvn ‘roricet,
And we get to heaven,
Fekvpetvn pu ‘yaces.
We want to rest.

Sadly, I can't share this piece with you (yet!) but here is a performance of Tracing Mississippi for Solo Flute, and Orchestra performed here by the Norman Philharmonic - and yes! I took part in this recording, so this all KIND OF works out.

I hope you enjoy this music!