Ballard, Louis W(ayne)
Ballard, Louis W(ayne)
Ballard, Louis W(ayne), preeminent native American composer and music educator; b. Devil’s Promenade, Quapaw Indian Reservation, Okla., July 8, 1931. He was of distinguished Quapaw-Cherokee descent and was given the name Honganózhe (Grand Eagle). In his youth, he was immersed in native American music but also received piano lessons at the local Baptist mission school. He later pursued an intensive study of the musics of various native American tribes. He studied at the Univ. of Okla., and then at the Univ. of Tulsa, where he took B.M., B.M.E., and M.M. degrees. He also studied with Milhaud and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. From 1962 to 1969 he was an administrator with the Inst. of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. From 1969 to 1979 he was in charge of the music curriculum of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs school system. He also was chairman of minority concerns in music education for the state of N.Mex. from 1976 to 1982. He publ. My Music Reaches to the Sky (1973) and Music of North American Indians (1975). In some of his compositions, he has used the name Joe Miami. In his music, Ballard combines native American elements with advanced Western compositional techniques.
DRAMATIC: Jijogweh, the Witch-water Gull, ballet (1962); Koshare, ballet (1965; Barcelona, May 16, 1966); The 4 Moons, ballet commemorating the 60th anniversary of the statehood of Okla. (Tulsa, Oct. 28, 1967); Sacred Ground, film score (1975); The Maid of the Mist and the Thunderbeings, dance piece (Buffalo, Oct. 18, 1991; symphonic suite, Aptos, Calif., Aug. 8, 1993); Moontide, opera (1994). ORCH.: Fantasy Aborigine No. 1: Sipapu (1963; Santa Fe, April 12, 1964), No. 2: Tsiyako (Seattle, Oct. 10, 1976), No. 3: Kokopelli (Flagstaff, April 5, 1977), No. 4: Xactce’oyan-Companion of Talking God (N.Y., Nov. 15, 1982), and No. 5: Naniwaya (1988; Tulsa, Sept. 21, 1989); Scenes from Indian Life (1964; Rochester, N.Y., May 2, 1968); Why the Duck Has a Short Tail for Narrator and Orch. (Tempe, Ariz., May 8, 1969); Devil’s Promenade (Tulsa, May 22, 1973); Incident at Wounded Knee for Chamber Orch., dramatizing the rebellion of the Sioux Indians at the locality known as Wounded Knee in S.Dak. (Warsaw, Oct. 24, 1974); Siouxiana for Wind Ensemble (Grand Forks, N.Dak., Jan. 28, 1974); Ishi: America’s Last Civilized Man (Aptos, Calif., Aug. 24, 1975); Wamus-77 for Band (Washington, D.C., Nov. 24, 1977); Nighthawk Keetowah Dances, suite for Concert Band (Chicago, April 5, 1978); Ocotillo Festival Overture for Concert Band (Tempe, Ariz., March 11, 1979); The Maid of the Mist and the Thunderbeings, suite (Aptos, Calif., Aug. 8, 1993; also as a dance piece, Buffalo, Oct. 18, 1991); The Indian Feast Day (1994; San Jose, Calif., Jan. 6, 1995). CHAMBER: Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1959); Percussion Ego for 3 Percussion (1963); Rhapsody for 4 Bassoons (1963); Ritmo Indio for Wind Quintet (Santa Fe, March 8, 1969); Cacega Ayuwipi for Chamber Ensemble (Santa Fe, July 28, 1970); Katcina Dances, cello-piano suite (Santa Fe, July 28, 1970); Desert Trilogy for Octet (Lubbock, Tex., Oct. 28, 1971); Rio Grande Sonata for Violin and Piano (Santa Fe, May 15, 1976); Music for the Earth and the Sky for Chamber Ensemble (Saarbrücken, May 31, 1986); Bellum Atramentum, trio for Oboe, Violin, and Cello (1988; Santa Fe, May 21, 1989); Capientur a Nullo, trio for Violin, Cello, and Double Bass (1988); The Lonely Sentinel for Wind Sextet (1993). Piano: 4 American Indian Piano Preludes (1963); City of Silver: Buenos Aires (1980); City of Fire: Los Alamos (N.Y., Oct. 20, 1984); City of Light: Paris (1986; N.Y., Feb. 15, 1987). VOCAL: Espiritu de Santiago for Chorus, Flute, Piano, and Guitar (1963); The Gods Will Hear, cantata for Chorus and Orch. (Liberty, Mo., May 12, 1964); Mojave Bird Dance Song for Chorus and Percussion (1970); Portrait of Will Rogers, cantata for Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (Liberty, Mo., April 3, 1972); Thus Spake Abraham, cantata for Soloists, Chorus, and Piano (1976; Buenos Aires, Aug. 23, 1980); Dialogue Differentia for Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Baritone, and Orch. (Bonn, June 1, 1989); Live On, Heart of My Nation, cantata for Narrator, Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (McAlester, Okla., April 1, 1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire