The story of oilman and governor of Oklahoma during the Depression era, E.W. Marland, and his beautiful wife Lydie Marland, whose life added an element of mystery and poignancy to Marland's story.
Original musical score by Joseph Rivers.
Premiered in May 2016 in Ponca City, OK and Tulsa, OK, and will be shown on Oklahoma Educational Television on September 22, 2016.
Promotional Trailer for the film's premiere: High Stakes. The Life and Times of E. W. Marland (2016)
Buffalo Run opened the 2015 OK Mozart International Festival in the Bartlesville Community Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on June 6. The Tulsa Youth Symphony performance was conducted by Ron Wheeler, and the choreography was performed by Judy Fu and her Tai Chi dancers. Buffalo Run was commissioned by the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra for its 50th season and was dedicated to conductor Ron Wheeler. It was premiered by the TYSO on February 18, 2014 at Tulsa's Lorton Performance Center, with a repeat performance on May 5, 2014 at Union High School Auditorium.
Buffalo Run was composed to celebrate the American buffalo (or bison) and their connection and essential value to the American Indian way of life, and to depict their near demise and rise again. Various tribes used the buffalo to sustain their lives, killing the animals only as needed for food, shelter, clothing, and tools for themselves and their families. At the turn of the 19th century there were around 60 million buffalo roaming the North American continent. With the coming of the Europeans, these animals were nearly wiped out, and by the beginning of the 20th century they were only around 1,000 remaining. Thanks to modern efforts in preservation there are now close to 500,000 American bison, and they are no longer an endangered species.
Buffalo Run begins with the distant sound of rumbling earth, growing in intensity until a stampeding herd of bison emerges. Plains Indian hunters enter the chase. They will use the buffalo to sustain their lives and the lives of their wives and children and tribe. As the men slay the animals, the women come behind them to prepare the hides for shelter and clothing, the organs and muscles for food, and the teeth and bones for tools and other useful objects. A slow section takes us into the heart of Native American life for an intimate depiction of the tribal families who are sustained by the buffalo. An agitated developmental section follows, depicting the destruction of the buffalo by the encroaching settlers and military, which struck at the heart of the tribes. A triumphal Coda or concluding section depicts the resurgence of the buffalo as they are restored to their former glory.