Kyle Gann: Earth-Preserving Chant (2010)

Emanuele Arciuli, piano

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill was at its most destructive, and I had spent the morning reading about it, the day in June 2010 I received an e-mail from Emanuele Arciuli offering me a commission for a piano piece on an American indian theme. The idea of a chant, a prayer, to save the earth (or rather, to keep it habitable for humans, since the earth will someday go blithely on without us) leaped into my head. The song would have to be a model of ecology, of carefully husbanded resources, using as little material as possible. I chose not to use actual American Indian sources (as I often have done), since this was for so specific a purpose, but I wrote in the rhythmic style I long ago developed from my love of Hopi and Pueblo music.

I thank Emanuele for commissioning it, for recording it, and for playing it so well.

Kyle Gann

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