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"Buffalo Altar; 
A Texas Simphony" (2000)

Stephen Harrigan:

Barry Corbin:

J. Todd Frazier:

The Houston Ballet

1. I been in the oil business for fifty-eight years, and I ain't tired of it yet. Oil could fall to a nickel a barrel, and I'd still be out there driving the back roads, trying to talk some old rancher out of his mineral rights. I guess, when you think about it, it's the driving I always liked best. Godalmighty, Texas is a beautiful country to drive in!   510 Kb.   97 Kb.   0:32  
  2. I got to be careful about driving these days, though, cause I ain't exactly legal no more. They wouldn't renew my license last time I went down to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Said I was too old and too blind. Said I could take the bus. Well I got news for them: I ain't never taking no damn bus.   471 Kb.   91 Kb.   0:30  
  3. I seen tornadoes and flash floods and ever other damn thing. I seen a man get struck by lightning on the 8th hole at Lions Club Municipal Golf Course in Sweetwater, dead as a biscuit and his clothes on fire too. I was there in forty-eight when they opened up the Shamrock Hotel in Houston. That was a party! I remember there was a riot out on the streets that night--everybody was trying to get inside and see Dorothy Lamour. It broke my heart when they tore that old hotel down. What the hell are they going to tear down next? The Alamo?   692 Kb.   130 Kb.   0:44  
  4. But like I said, I ain't complaining. I've had my share of fancy hotels and wild parties and two-inch-thick ribeyes and cold Mexican beer. It's the driving I can't give up: roaring down a Texas highway in a big old Oldsmobile, with the windows open and the bugs splattering on the windshield and me feeling as wild and free as a Comanche Indian. I guess those were about the best days of my life, those lease-buying trips when I was a young landman with a big car and an expense account.   596 Kb.   114 Kb.   0:38  
  5. Or maybe it wasn't. Maybe it's the same. Maybe all these cities and Taco Bells and Dairy Queens and outlet malls don't have a thing in the world to do with what Texas is. Texas is what connects me and that prehistoric fella and that old rancher and that dead buffalo. It's not just the place we live in, it's the place that lives in us--even after we're dead and looking toward the sun with empty eyes.   737 Kb.   139 Kb.   0:47  

In Buffalo Altar, written for the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., Frazier set a fictional tale by Texas author Stephen Harrigan. The oilman, now 81, reminisces about the time he leased land from an old geezer who took him to see a prehistoric altar in a shallow cave lit only at sunrise. Along the way, the narrator invokes a few Texas myths, including the state's allegiance to the automobile. Through an authentic accent and character, Texas actor Barry Corbin, dressed in tux, black Stetson and belt that screamed "cowboy," provided the right verbal character and sounds of a Texan.

- Houston Chronicle

The John M. O'Quinn Foundation
Cultural Preservation Project Of Texas
Music Of Jefferson Todd Frazier

Music: publishing and 2000, J. F. Brazos Enterprises, LTD
Text: 2000, Stephen Harrigan
Phonodisc: 2000, Houston Ballet Foundation
Recording / Editing / Mastering by Andreas Klein: Ultimo Productions
Photography: 2000, Bill Wright
Distribution: American Festival For The Arts

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