Sammy Tedder was recently nominated for a Suncoast Regional EMMY Award in the Musical Composition and Arrangement category for the musical sound track, Apalachicola River: an American Treasure.
Sammy Tedder’s musical talents stretch over 30 years of performing, composing and recording sounds close to his heart. Tedder has performed a concert tour in the Soviet Union and was featured on TNN’s Prime Time Country, but his love for the beauty and solitude of North Florida always beckoned him home. From his remote cabin on the Sopchoppy River, he became intrigued by the natural sounds from the woods around him—frogs, insects, birds, thunder and rain—and so began to weave these sounds into his musical compositions. Also deeply interested in how the first primitive instruments such as drums and flutes were created, Tedder learned to make drums from hollow cypress or black gum logs and flutes from the native river cane that grows along Florida’s creeks and rivers.
Sammy’s first opportunity to work with cinematographer, Elam Stoltzfus and renowned photographic artist, Clyde Butcher came when he was invited to compose the musical sound track for the PBS documentary, Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida. Since then he has composed original sound tracks for several of Stoltzfus’ stunning nature film documentaries.
Tedder’s music reflects his deep respect for the original inhabitants of this land and the sound track for Apalachicola River: an American Treasure features hand made flutes made from cane collected from the banks of the River accompanied by contemporary instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, flute and keyboards blended with the organic sounds of the woods, swamps and shores. The sound track is a collection of original compositions in the Native American, jazz, gospel and blues styles plus traditional old time music and spirituals from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
“Composing the music for the Apalachicola River: an American Treasure documentary has given me the opportunity to experience this vast river basin area in a way that I never have before. I have explored the most remote waterways of the Apalachicola, recorded the sounds of the birds, the water and the insects; and met the people that rely on the river for making a living, rely on it for recreation or spiritual sustenance through its natural beauty and solitude—all this has given me great insight into how important it is to preserve this wild and natural place.”