The Sitting Bull Suite is program music that is, by design, the mate for the stage play An Evening with Sitting Bull written by notable Native American actor, Nick Ramus. This music is filled with the spirituality, history, and foreboding the Native Americans of the 18th and 19th century experienced. The imagery the music paints is clear. Melodic motifs blend with electronic and organic harmonies to create a story of their own as well as intensify Nick’s written word. The compositions have all of the necessary elements of a beginning, middle and end. The focus is complete. Each piece is a story and, yet, tells a part of the Native American story. Resolution is reached leaving a feeling of total relaxation.
Sitting Bull Suite starts by cleansing the palette so the listener is relaxed and prepared for the experience. Once there, the journey begins back to the time when the story of the sacred oneness of all life unfolds. The music creates rhythms unique to Native Americans and the melodic motifs provide imagery to accent the influence of early European settlers. It is here that this common thread of all life begins to be intermingled.
My personal background in music reaches back to the olden days of public school ensembles and marching bands. It weaves around being a keyboardist in dance bands and magically comes out with a degree from the University of Arizona in music playing French horn in every possible ensemble a school of music can think of. Playing and performing has been the joy of my life. Prior to this endeavor, creating music was an element that simply passed through me. Those who heard my material enjoyed it but I never took the time to write it down. Until a chance meeting with Nick Ramus changed that.
I invite the listener to do a web search of Nick Ramus to see his body of work in television and movies. He is probably best known for one of his television roles as Chief Black Kettle in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. His favorite movie role was Windwalker, a first for a Native American movie using native language.
The stage play An Evening with Sitting Bull won a grant for his performance at the Telluride Theatre Festival in the early 90’s. There were two performances of the play at the Historic Sheridan Opera House that year. Nick performed the play to sold out houses. The premise of the grant that year was that the play be based on a famous American.
An Evening with Sitting Bull is a most eloquent stage play. It is my hope that his story is, perhaps, one day produced into a screen play. Sit back and enjoy this music on a quite evening, with someone special or alone. It has something for everyone to enjoy.