I composed the piece entitled “Tƚig” for Nebula Ensemble during the summer of 2015 after Jasper Schmich Kinney invited me to compose a piece for the ensemble. First I chose the instrumentation of oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet, trumpet, soprano, piano (prepared), violin, cello and electronics. I wanted to show my respect for the cultural heritage of the people of Denver, Colorado by composing a unique musical setting of a Navajo poem, so I asked Jasper’s advice to find Navajo lyrics. He sent me an article called “Coyote Poems: Navajo Poetry,” and I chose the poem “Tƚig” (Click) by Rex Lee Jim.
The Navajo language really inspired me, as in my whole musical career I’ve always enjoyed composing vocal music in different existing and extinct languages (Greek, Yiddish, Nahuatl, Tzotzil among the well-known ones). The piece contains three pre-recorded electronic audio files that I’ve created using only recorded piano and bass clarinet notes and effects. Here I would like to say many thanks to my excellent clarinetist friend Péter Szűcs, who played and recorded these notes to me.
– Ákos Zarándy
by Rex Lee Jim