The Elebhant King’s Journey (Legendary story)
(the Legend of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep) for Viola and Piano
The Elephant King carried the remains of the Buddha in order to find a proper place to build a Wat (temple) to house his burial grounds - Chiangmai, Thailand. The Elephant King walked around to a number of places. He stops a couple of times, causing the Thai King to think each was going to be the final resting spot for the Buddha. However, the Elephant King continued in the forest. In the end the Elephant King made his final stop, he screamed three times, collapsed and died. The King then had had the people dig the ground and buried the Buddha’s remains where the Elephant King lay.
The title is still pronounced “Elephant....”, but the composer explains the given spelling of the piece as “Elebhant King” because the dominant pitches of the piece are E, B-flat (bH) and B, for Buddha.
The piece is dedicated to Michael Hall.