from Places - 10 pieces for solo piano by Ernst Bacon
play on YouTube
Play on YouTube
The title 'Yemassee River' represented artistic license on the part of the composer since there is in fact no river by that exact name in South Carolina. There is however the Combahee River which runs very close to the town of Yemassee (with a tributary leading to it), and this is no doubt the river to which Ernst Bacon was referring. The Combahee River, located in the South Carolina low country, and part of the now-protected ACE Basin, is an area of abundant bird and wildlife, flowers, trees, and thickly hanging Spanish moss. The name 'Yemassee' refers to the Yemassee Indian tribe which inhabited the area from the late 1600's to the early 1700's. In 1715 the Yemassee rose up against the British for unfair trade practices, encroachment on their land, and mistreatment, but were defeated and forced to flee to Florida. The easy-going languid feel of Ernst Bacon's 'Yemassee River' is reminiscent of a hot sultry day in the South Carolina low country. The tune is taken from a spiritual song.
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Photographs by Scott Leonard — ACE Basin Visitor Center
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