Nakoda is named for the alpha female of the Peter Lougheed wolf pack, who was killed—legally—by a hunter in Kananaskis country (near Banff, Alberta, Canada) on September 22, 2000. While wolves and other large predators essential to the ecological balance of the region are protected within the boundaries of Banff National Park (as well as other nearby protected areas), it is sadly still legal to hunt them outside of Park boundaries. Nakoda, herself named for the Nakoda First Nations tribe of the Bow Valley (among many other areas), was first collared in 1996 with a transceiver that allowed wildlife ecologists to obtain valuable data on the pack’s wide-ranging movements over the course of the year. (This kind of data can be used to help create laws that protect wolves and preserve critical habitat.) Nakoda is dedicated to the conservation of large predators everywhere––in particular the wolves of the Canadian and American Rockies.
Composed while in residence at Canada’s Banff Centre for the Arts for flutist Erin Lesser, Nakoda uses several extended flute techniques, including percussive sounds, pitch bending, and singing into the instrument. Many thanks to Erin Lesser for her willingness to share the secrets of the alto flute’s soundworld.
Solo Part Included: Flute