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Apollo Chamber Players

MoonStrike

Azica Records
Release Date: September 2, 2022

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The Making of MoonStrike
MoonStrike, for String Quartet and Narrator - John Herrington
Fantasia for Theremin, Oboe, String Quartet, and Piano | B. Martinů
1 Jennifer Higdon – In the Shadow of the Mountain [16:05]  
2 Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate – MoonStrike / Corn Dance [1:10]  
3 Prologue [0:30]  
4 I. Origin of the Moon [6:38]  
5 II. The Man Who Married the Moon [10:09]  
6 III. Raven Steals the Moon [7:43]  
7 Epilogue [0:14]  
8 Corn Dance Reprise [1:18]  
9 Pierre Jalbert – L’esprit du Nord “Spirit of the North” / I. Canson de Lisette [4:59]  
10 II. Cantique [7:14]  
11 III. Fiddle Dance [3:38]  
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On Friday, September 2, 2022, Apollo Chamber Players, under the direction of founder and violinist Matthew J. Detrick, releases its sixth album, MoonStrike, on Azica Records. MoonStrike is a universal celebration of storytelling, space, and folk song, realized through new works by Jennifer Higdon, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, and Pierre Jalbert. Tate’s title work, MoonStrike, is narrated by Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington, the first American Indian citizen to fly in space. All three works were commissioned by Apollo Chamber Players as part of its 20x2020 project, launched in 2014 with a mission to commission 20 new multicultural works before the end of the last decade. The New York premiere of MoonStrike will take place on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s In the Shadow of the Mountain (2020) is inspired by her upbringing in the Great Smoky Mountains and incorporates the sounds and colors of the region. Higdon shares, “The resonance of that area led me to choose, for my first opera, Charles Frazier’s novel Cold Mountain. The struggles of survival in Appalachia, the majesty of its natural features, and the sonorities of the mountain’s music, color the quilt of that opera and of this string quartet.”

Next is the title work, MoonStrike (2019), by Chickasaw composer and U.S. Cultural Ambassador, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. The work honors the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing through American Indian moon legends as narrated by Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington. Tate explains, “American Indian legends are very colorful and have a tendency to take twists and turns within the narrative. Regarding the Moon, it is very consistent that the traditional tales involve trickster characters and competitions for ownership of this precious object.” MoonStrike features three diverse American Indian legends, and is bookended with an arrangement of a Calusa Corn Dance. MoonStrike also draws inspiration from Apollo Founder Matthew J. Detrick’s love of space and childhood dream to become the first person to play the violin in space.

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