This episode explores human emotions and their relationship with spirituality and the natural world. Tom Jackson tells the story and performs an original song, followed by the debut of a new work, The Blood Alchemist Wateraga: Matriakii of Magic, written by composer Sonny-Ray Day Rider and performed by the Orchestra with Associate Conductor Karl Hirzer.
“The Blood Alchemist Wateraga: Matriakii of Magic is a musical work where I explore the reification and source of magic, which I think encapsulates a whole range of human, natural, and supernatural phenomenon. It has become part of my current practice to carefully title my works with narratives that deify and anthropomorphize human emotions and relationship with spirituality and the natural world.
I used the word Blood in the title (and other works) to allude to my Blackfoot Indigenous background, as I am from the Kainai ‘Blood’ tribe, which is one of the four tribes that make up the Blackfoot confederacy. I also use the word Blood in the title to refer to a life force which connects us all.
Wateraga is the name of a magic spell from a video game series I grew up with and I use the Narrative connector Alchemist in the title to signify our complex bio-connection with water.
Matriakii is compound word derived from both the English word ‘matriarchy’ and the Blackfoot word ‘akii,’ which means woman.” — Sonny-Ray Day Rider, Composer