Vision of Black Elk premières in Paris

February 1, 2015

When and Where: Festival Présences, Maison de Radio France, Paris on February 11, 2015, 20.00

Commissioned by Radio France for Ensemble Variances, and contralto Noa Frenkel, Vision of Black Elk takes texts from the seminal Black Elk Speaks, the text complied by John G. Neihardt of Black Elk’s vision in 1935.

Noa Frenkel 5

Black Elk Speaks is both the seminal document of the Lakota holy man’s experience of living at the time of Crazy Horse and the time of transition of the Lakota People from a free, nomadic people to a life on reservations, as well as his extraordinary, almost phantasmagoric vision, which first came to him at the age of 9 as expressed in this text, and then returned repeatedly in various forms throughout his lifetime, and which he eventually realized through the Horse Dance and other collectively performed rituals.


Composed entirely for low instruments in deference to the dark contralto sound, the work is divided into 5 sections or movements and runs continuously:

I. Thunder Beings
II. The Six Grandfathers
III. The Blue Man
IV. The Four Ascents
V. Return (Horse Dance)

February 11 is the composer’s 46th birthday,


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