Canopache by Carson P. Cooman Op 974
Canopache (2012) for Native American flute and drone instrument was written for and is dedicated to James J. Pellerite. It is part of an ongoing series of compositions connected to the landscape, history and places of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The American Indians of the Wampanoag tribe were the first inhabitants of the island, and most of the island's places retain names derived from Wampanoag words.
The title Canopache is the Wampanoag word for "place of peace," one of the terms used to refer to Nantucket. The piece is a nocturne, inspired by many evenings spent in the island's exquisite stillness. A freely unfolding opening leads to a simple pentatonic melody and its elaboration. A middle section of gentle dance-like character returns us to the peaceful mood of the opening again.
Note about the drone instrument: The two drones (G anf F) in this work may be performed by a variety of possible instruments. Possibilities include a shruti box, cello, harmonium, pipe organ (portatif or regular) or synthesizer. The drone should be carefully balanced with the flute so as never to take focus, but to be an always-present harmonic force to which the flute reacts.