Subtitle: For Double Wind Quintet
Duration: c. 25:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Homem De Pao Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $150.00
1. Isis - 9:40
2. Iemanja - 7:50
3. Mawu - 8:25
Horn in F I-II
None discovered thus far.
Sacred Women was commissioned by Utah State University and premiered in 2012.
Scott was first inspired to write the piece in 2004 on a trip to Brazil after witnessing a festival for the goddess Iemanjá. Having been raised Catholic, to see such a beautiful display of devotion to another deity entirely foreign to him piqued his interest. Each movement begins with a summoning of the goddess being celebrated, moves to a middle section as a dance in honor of that goddess, and finally concludes with a return to quiet prayer.
The music of the first movement honors Isis, a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, her maternal aid was also invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people. She was usually portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a thronelike hieroglyph on her head. Her reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, and she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, govern the skies and the natural world, and have power over fate itself.
Titled Iemanjá: Goddess of the Sea, the second movement celebrates a deity worshiped in the cultural area known as Yorubaland, a territory covering present-day southwestern Nigeria and parts of Togo and Benin. For pregnant women and children, Iemanjá represents protection, for hunters she provides rich prey, and to farmers abundant crops. Today, celebrations of Iemanjá are accompanied by gifts such as brightly colored flowers and crafted fruits or plates of food. During the festivities, followers offer flowers and gifts to the goddess at the sea’s edge and send them out to her in the ocean. Everyone dresses in white, and night-long music and dancing continue after the offerings have been made.
The final movement pays homage to Mawu, a West African goddess of creation known as the first mother—the one who gave life to all creatures on earth. She is depicted as quite old and sometimes riding on the back of an elephant. She was the first and ultimate fertility goddess, sometimes also known as the goddess of the moon and night sky, and twin sister to Liza, the god of the sun and day.
- Program Note by Christine Lundahl for the University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony concert program, 15 April 2021
Commissioned by Utah State University, Logan, Utah; premiered August 12, 2012, National Flute Association Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Program Note from score
(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Steven D. Davis, conductor) - 26 September 2021
- Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music Chamber Orchestra (Rafael Jiménez, conductor) – 31 October 2020
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Jeff Scott website Accessed 14 April 2021
- Scott, J. (2012). Sacred Women: For Double Wind Quintet [score]. Homem De Pao Music: New York.