||"Na Kohola" (The Whales) is movement four of the Southeast Alaska Suite by Geoffrey Keezer. This movement depicts a whale sighting and in the program notes the composer states " On our second day out, again with perfectly clear and still water, we encountered a large pod of humpback whales, at least 30 or more. While we did our best to maintain a respectful distance, they literally surrounded our boat, breaching, spy-hopping, diving and inspecting us. Twice we tried to leave, and the whales cut us off, swimming straight at us (to our delight!) , before eventually moving on. They are the greatest and wisest of creatures. I chose the Hawaiian word for the whales, Na Kohola, because many of the whales we met were the Hawaiian humpbacks that migrate thousands of miles each summer to Alaska to feed, returning to Hawai’i in the winter to give birth."
"The opening melody, played by Fender Rhodes piano, is composed in the style of Hawaiian "slack key" guitar, specificially in the manner of Keola Beamer, a great guitarist with whom I have been collaborating recently. This is followed by an ensemble passage in tempo with multiple entrances zigzagging all over, appearing and disappearing. Next comes a group improvisation featuring the piano, flugelhorn, tenor sax, and
trombone. Another ensemble passage winds down eventually into the opening guitar-like theme. The entire band gets to be the "pod", coming up for air every now and then. "
Available as a PDF.