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Transcribed, arranged, produced, and engineered by Steve Hahn,
DeeP Chocolate Productions, Boulder, CO
Recorded at DeeP Chocolate Productions, Boulder, CO
Mastering and graphic design by Fanfare Productions, Lakewood, CO
Front cover painting: “Dancer” by Thom Workman, Washington, DC
Native American Music Meets The Chapman Stick joins our nation’s oldest musical culture, Native American music of the Cherokee, Creek, Navajo, Tolowa, and Yurok tribes, with one of our nation’s newest musical instruments, The Chapman Stick.
Steve Hahn’s instruments include Chapman Stick, trumpet, bass guitar, and guitar. His first CD, Stickburst,released in March 1994, has been distributed in seventeen countries and been played on radio stations across the United States. His third CD, sh,which features original music for Chapman Stick, trumpet, and percussion, is being released concurrently with Native American Music Meets The Chapman Stick. In 1995 Hahn was one of twelve musicians in the United States to receive a Jazz Studies Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, through which he studied with world-renowned jazz artist Alphonso Johnson.
Matt Houston has performed with many jazz artists, including Gary Bartz, Chico Freeman, Benny Golson, Tim Hagens, Conrad Herwig, Dianne Reeves, Claudio Roditi, Bob Belden, Vince Mendoza, and many others. As a classical percussionist he has performed with the Green Bay Symphony, the Eastman/Rochester Philharmonic, the Denver Chamber Players, the Denver Brass, and others. Houston’s work with ethnic music of Brazil, Africa, and the Caribbean has included performances with such varied artists as Glen Velez, Ruben Alvarez, and Jamey Haddad.
The Cherokee Indians, originally from the southeastern United States, were split up by the federal government into North Carolina and Oklahoma in the 1830s. The Creek Indians now reside in Oklahoma; they are originally from southeastern Georgia and Alabama. The Navajo Indians reside in northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southeast Utah. The Tolowa Indians reside in northern California and Oregon. The Yurok Indians reside in northern California.
Partial funding for the transcription of the music was provided by the Arts and Humanities Assembly of Boulder (AHAB), Colorado, in 1994. During my research many things were revealed regarding Native American music. An interesting fact is that many of the newer Navajo songs were based on Plains and Pueblo music and even on American folk songs. Most Native American melodies approximate major and minor triads, ascending and descending in repeating pendular motion. It is an unusual melodic contour in Native American music when a melodic phrase is heard starting high, descending in the middle, and jumping up a fourth, as in “Rabbit Song.” Further, the approximated triads are microtonal in many instances, especially when the quaver (shaking sound) is used in the voice. The quaver was difficult to replicate on a Western, 12-tone instrument, and I ended up using the combination of a slide and a trill (same finger waved frantically) between two adjacent frets instead of two fingers performing a trill.
The most striking aspect of this music is its meter! The music always sounds very driven by the constant eighth and quarter note pulse of the percussion instruments (replicated in the left [low] hand of The Stick). The result is almost a 2/4 or 4/4 dance or march (duple meter). The melodic phrasing, however, says something completely different. The phrases wander from 5/4 to 7/4, sometimes staying in 6/4 and 4/4 in “Stomp Dance.” You will experience the asymmetric meter of 11/16 in “Pelican Song” and the compound 12/8 meter in “Two-Step,” as well as many other metric combinations.
I would like to thank the following people who have been so gracious and supportive while this project has been in production. First, I thank Cheryl for being such a loving and patient partner. Matt for your amazing energy, talent, and friendship; this album would not be what it is without you. Michael Lightner and Scott Bullerwell for all of your support and for lending me equipment that led to this completed project. Thom Workman for your inspirational painting. Vicki Ashby, former executive director of AHAB, for believing in this project and helping to facilitate the initial funding for the transcriptions. Many thanks to all of the people around the world who supported my first CD, Stickburst.Thanks to the Native American people for this powerful music.
1. “Bluebird Song,” Navajo
The transcriptions of Native American music heard on this CD have been prepared with the intent of retaining the authenticity of the music as much as possible. We have great respect for this music and recognize its importance to Native American people.
DCP980501 ©1998 DeeP Chocolate Productions (ASCAP)
The Chapman Stick is a registered trademark of Stick Enterprises, Inc., and is used with permission.