April 02, 2011

The Minnesota Woman symphony

Minnesota Woman serves as muse

By John LambSunday’s Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies concert includes a dedication to a very special lady when David James Nielsen premieres his work “The Minnesota Woman.”

As the title suggests, the work was inspired by the remains of a young woman found along Highway 59, just north of Pelican Rapids, Minn., during road work in 1931. The remains are believed to be at least 10,000 years old–and up to 20,000 years old, according to Otter Tail County’s website–and some of the oldest human remains in North America.
And:He describes his finished piece as an impressionistic look at Minnesota Woman’s life, starting with the first movement, “Tribal Life” and symphonic interpretations of work sounds: rocks being struck, a stone axe hitting wood, bone needle tapping in the sewing clothing.

“It’s like a mix of Aaron Copland and (Igor) Stravinsky meets John Williams and Native American drummers,” he says, describing the 14-minute work.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

Below:  "Composer David James Nielsen and the Minnesota Woman marker just north of Pelican Rapids, Minn."

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