I don’t usually celebrate when I finish working on a composition, but this time I am. Having spent the last year dreaming about, planning for, walking, and finally spending too much time sitting alone in a room composing music about the Pacific Crest Trail, I am done with my string quartet for Friction Quartet. It was a privilege to be inspired by such a magnificent landscape. I am grateful that this project allowed me to further explore the complex paradox that the natural world presents and that music embodies. I have discovered absolutely nothing new, but I learned much; the glorious, vexing multitude of sounds made by the common raven (a piece waiting to be written); ants are gods who command respect; the land is alive and vigorous and will be forever; that if I find myself at a road crossing in the Mojave Desert, strangers might be waiting there with ripe peaches, cinnamon rolls, and mango drinks. How do these thoughts play out musically? I don’t know. All is possible.
So, to celebrate the conclusion of my compositional adventure I have decided to return to the PCT…on snowshoes! I’m headed out today to spend a few days in the back—country at a ski hut the Sierra Club maintains just north of the Clair Tappaan Lodge near Donner Pass. The hut happens to be right off the PCT and I remember checking it out last August, so hopefully I’ll be able to re-locate it easily. Clair Tappaan was one of my favorite pit stops last summer on the PCT and I’m hoping to make visiting here a personal tradition, especially in the winter.
Thanks so much for reading — happy holidays!