top of page

A Tale of My Native Land No. 4

Charles Shadle
9 min
Ballade after Momoday

Note: Recording begins at 8'40'' mark.
A Tale of My Native Land No.4 evokes the remarkable landscapes of South-western Oklahoma that have inspired American Indian author, N. Scott Momaday.
My own tribal heritage is Choctaw and centered about a hundred and fifty miles east of Momaday’s Kiowa homeland, but it is a landscape very familiar to me, and one whose beauty is powerfully expressed in his remarkable poetic memoire The Way to Rainy Mountain. I hope I have partially captured in A Tale of My Native Land No.4 some of the author’s sensibility:

East of my grandmother’s house the sun rises out
Of the plain. Once in his life a man ought to
Concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth,
I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular
Landscape in his experience, to look at it from as
many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell
Upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it with
His hands at every season and listens to the sounds
That are made upon it. He ought to imagine the
Creatures there and all the faintest motions of the
Wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and
All the colors of the dawn and dusk.

(from N. Scott Momaday’s The Way to Rainy Mountain, 1969)

A Tale of My Native Land No.4 is dedicated to the memory of my high-schoolpiano teacher and mentor, Eloise Ristad. -Charles Shadle

A Seat At The Piano welcomes you to pull up a bench and join our generous family of supporters! If ASAP has helped you, please consider donating to help us keep growing. Click here to donate.

bottom of page