The Psalms of RA
- An oratorio in two acts for fifty singers and instrumentalists, set
to ancient Egyptian, Sumerian and Hebrew texts. Adaptable to musical theatre.
Initially released as a double CD set recorded at Skywalker Sound. Includes
many chamber works, such as woodwind quartets and string quintets, that
can be independently performed. Sections were performed in 2002 at the
Sowden House, Hollywood, and the Jon Sims Center for the Arts and the
Englander House, San Francisco. Expanded orchestrations of “Psalm
104” and “Blue Star” were premiered by the San Jose
First Light - Work-in-progress - A two act musical
about war and the
The Celestial Trilogy - Three art songs for high baritone or tenor, accompanied by piano with optional flute or oboe part. Includes “The Moonbone” (Australian Aboriginal text), “The Hymn to the Sun” (Ancient Egyptian text), and “The Living Ketzalkoatl” (to Venus as the Morning and Evening Star - text by DH Lawrence from his book, “The Plumed Serpent”). All three texts are sung in English. Performed by tenor Rodnie Nelson at numerous concerts between 1996 and 1999 in New York City, Seattle, Portland and Santa Monica, CA.
Fanfare to the Sun - A short work for brass quintet that was originally written for “Songs of Forgotten Relatives” (see below). Performed by the New Mexico Brass Quintet in 1983 at a concert of the Composers Society of Santa Fe.
Sonata #1 for Oboe and Piano - Work-in-Progress - A three movement composition in a contemporary classical/jazz crossover style. Sketches for the first two movements were perfomed by the composer with oboist Keith Sklower at the Presidio Chapel new music concert series in San Francisco in 1998.
Luna - A five movement astrological ballet/ritual dance drama choreographed by Rosalind Schrodt. Scored for a chamber ensemble of twenty, including native winds, woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, piano and singers. Performed in 1982 at the Santa Fe Armory for the Arts and the Taos Community Auditorium, New Mexico.
Buffalo Nation - A two act, full-length opera on a Native American theme, with a cast of sixteen singers, plus musicians. Performed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1979, at the Indigenous People’s Theatre Celebration in Toronto, Canada in 1980, and at the Los Angeles Theatre Centre in 1991. Parts of the opera have been scored for symphony orchestra, including a fifteen minute “concerto” for Native American flutes, classical flute and orchestra entitled “First People/Last Stand”. Performed by the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra (Montana) in 2002, and the Diablo Symphony (California) in 2003. More info...
- A musical play in eight
movements, where the musicians are the actors onstage, playing various
characters with all their parts memorized. Scored for fifty instrumentalists,
singers and dancers.As an eco-indigenous world music extravaganza that
combines symphonic and native instruments with a cross-cultural array
of singing styles, each movement has its own specially created language.
These movements are “The Four Rivers”, “The Ocean”,
“The Forest”, “The Grassland”, “The Desert”,
“The Mountain”, “The Sky”, and “The Four
Winds”. Premiered in 1980 at Amherst
Songs of the Four Directions - A musical with dialogue and song written for four singer/actors. Designed as a mystical journey of Native American prophecy and mythology, this show later evolved into the composer’s first published book, “Journey to the Four Directions” (Bear & Co., 1993). It was performed in Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1982.
Tour Bus - Work-in-progress - A musical theatre political satire set in the fictional land of Manahaya. Based on the story of the first foreigners to enter a native community that has been opened to tourism. Can be done onstage or as dinner theatre. The musical style falls somewhere in between a 1930’s Broadway musical, salsa and cabaret.
17th Street - A multi-media, “Omnistic” mini-ballet scored for a chamber ensemble of a dozen instrumentalists, two opera singers and three traditional Amazonian musicians. Performed at the National Academy of Sciences’ Beckman Center in Irvine, California in 1992.
Minimata - A daringly unconventional work of eco-political theatre by the late writer/director Reza Abdoh, performed at the Los Angeles Theatre Centre in 1989.
Skeleton Dance - An experimental musical theatre production by writer/director Shishir Kurup, performed at the Los Angeles Theatre Centre’s New Works Festival in 1991.
Mythic Figures - A series of theatrical dance rituals by choreographer Andrea Siedel, presented at the Santa Fe Armory for the Arts in 1983.
Tisa - A theatrical dance myth by choreographer Marjorie Malone, presented at the Taos Community Auditorium in 1984.
Presidio Chapel, San Francisco, CA (1998) - New Music Concert Series - Original works by Jim Berenholtz, Sonya Heller and Phyllis Addison for voice, piano, guitar and oboe.
JFK University, Oakland, CA. (1988) - Arts and Consciousness Program - “Music for Spiritual Awakening” - Original music by Jim Berenholtz and singer/harpist Ani Williams.
End Loft, Northampton, MA. (1980) - “Creative Music
for the ‘80’s” - Improvisations with Jim Berenholtz,
piano and Larry Chernikoff, vibraphone.