Our own Rob Kapilow (well, he's been doing shows with us for quite some time, so he feels like family) undertook an interesting project a few years ago, a commission to create a work that is "a reflection of the enduring legacy of the Lewis and Clark expedition." But the commission from the St. Louis Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony was not specific as to how this might be accomplished. For inspiration, Kapilow retraced Lewis and Clark's steps and began confronting what was for him a new world. Kapilow struggles with how to tell this new unexpected story, the story he finds most compelling, and which is largely untold; the story of Lewis and Clark from the perspective of today's native Americans.
Together with Blackfeet Indian poet and language preservationist Darrell Robes Kipp, Kapilow creates a symphony and discovers a world of which he previously knew nothing, Kipp writes the libretto for Kapilow's symphony, and discovers a new direction in his own work of tribal preservation and possibility. Thus do these two unlikely partners begin the process of bridging the divide between worlds begun at the time of Lewis and Clark.
The film about this process, Summer Sun, Winter Moon, is now being shown on PBS stations across the country. the next showing's in the Boston area will be on November 6 on WGBX World. A complete schedule of showing in other locations is available here.
There is also this brief video made by the Blackfoot teenager Jesse Desrosier. Jesse also appears in the film: Diary of Jesse Desrosier
On another note, Rob Kapilow performs two versions of his acclaimed What Makes It Great? program in the 2009-2010 season:
What Makes It Great? Mendelssohn Octet
What Makes It Great? The Music of Cole Porter