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Nahanni

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Solo
2018
9 min.

Live Electronics

Tuba

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Program Notes
I have composed previous pieces about Canadian landscape, and want to write more. So when I found out that tubist Jennifer Stephen was raised in Yellowknife, I suggested that I find a musical way to honour NahʔĄ Dehé / South Nahanni River in the traditional territories of the Dehcho and Sahtu peoples. The river is older than the mountains around it, so it winds like a prairie river while cutting sheer canyon walls hundreds of feet high into the rock. Nàįlįcho / Virginia Falls is taller than Niagara, and encircles a towering rock pinnacle. Like many settlers in Canada, my imagination romanticizes the wilderness; I inevitably view the landscape through the lens of colonial place-names and adventure tourism. After the water fights through rock to become a river carving its way downstream, it gets reinterpreted as a post-Romantic tone poem that fetishizes nature, fighting with ideas of what it means for music to be "natural". This version of the piece ends before the river plunges over Virginia Falls. Jennifer Stephen premiered this version of Nahanni at the Toronto Ontario Tuba and Euphonium Symposium (TOTES) in March 2018.
Ensemble Name
Jennifer Stephen