Tracing Mississippi
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
(2001) - 30'
by Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate

Solo Fl.; 3(Afl./Pic./Pic.) 3(E.H.) 3(Ebcl./Bcl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 5 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Kbd. Hp. Str. (16,14,12,10,8)

Mississippi was the original homeland of the Chickasaw Nation until our removal to Indian Territory (now called Oklahoma) in the 1830's. This removal is commonly known as the Trail of Tears, and involved numerous tribes from the Southeastern United States.

Tracing Mississippi is a remembrance of the old country my family lived in and incorporates traditional songs and dance rhythms, along with American Indian percussion instruments. In particular, the Chickasaw Garfish Dance song is quoted by the opening flute solo. The Choctaw hymn, entitled Worth of the Soul, is quoted by the horn quartet during the final build of the first section (Taloowa'). Specific rhythms throughout the work are derived from Southeast Indian and other American Indian sources.

Also included is an original melody by my Comanche colleague and dear friend, pianist and composer, Dr. David Bad Eagle Yeagley. This melody appears in the third section (Shilombish Anompoli'), played by the solo flute in trio with the piccolo trumpet playing the Choctaw hymn, and the vibraphone and crotales playing a segment of the Garfish Dance song. The Comanche melody is an expression of the beautiful, mournful and distant voice of the Moon.

The concerto is a continuous work in four sections, delineated by the titles:

Taloowa' (Song)
Missipi' Aabi (Tracing Mississippi)
Shilombish Anompoli' (Talking Spirits)
Hashi' Hiloha (Sun Thunder)

Tracing Mississippi was commissioned by Christine Bailey Davis, Principal Flute of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and was premiered March 8, 2002, conducted by Ron Spigelman.

Tracing Mississippi is dedicated to my grandmother, Juanita Foshi' Keel Tate.

In 2007, Tracimg Mississippi was recorded by the San Francisco Symphony, and is available on Thunderbird Records.


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