‘Louis Wayne Ballard (1931–2007) is recognised as the first Native American concert composer. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to work on this wonderful project of world premiere recordings to bring his music to life. He was an amazing multi-faceted composer, performer, percussionist, teacher and administrator who worked tirelessly not only for his art, but also to promote the indigenous culture of America. The music on this release demonstrates his amazing versatility. My sincere thanks to Naxos for their continued work bringing re-discovered music back to life.’
– John Jeter
Louis Wayne Ballard – also known as “Honganozhe”, which means “Stands with Eagles” in the Quapaw language – was the first indigenous North American composer of art music, and his extensive knowledge of the music, dance and mythology of this culture informed his compositions. Ballard’s style was eclectic, embracing tonal and twelve-tone elements, and the selected pieces presented here reflect the unique variety of his achievement. This album of world premiere recordings features his third ballet, The Four Moons, which embodies a rich cache of classic dances, and the Fantasy Aborigine No. 3 “Kokopelli” with its battery of unique percussive instruments.