When you go into a national park, don't you sometimes imagine epic music accompanying you? Don't you sometimes wish you could capture the thrill of a bear encounter or the exhilaration of paddling through rapids and relive it later?
Well, this is your opportunity to help do exactly that!
Since 2009, I've been writing pieces about many of our national parks (see the whole story here), and I'm really excited to finally be releasing some of these compositions on a new CD.
Here's what will be on it. There are some excerpts of the music in our video, so I hope you take the time to watch that, too.
Denali - I was so fortunate to get to be Denali National Park's first-ever Composer in Residence in 2011. Since then I have returned many times, and I've developed a deep connection to this remarkable place. This piece for string orchestra celebrates the beauty and wildlife of Denali National Park. It is performed by Misha Rachlevsky and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin.
River Runner - Written in 2009, this three-movement piece for trombone and piano recounts a paddle trip through Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park. The first movement has secret lyrics (If you contribute, I'll tell you what they are), and you'll enjoy the energy of the last movement as we hit "Rockslide Rapids" and (surprisingly) don't die. It is performed by Deb Scott (trombone) and Ron Petti (piano).
Hall of the White Giant - If you want to get off the beaten path at Carlsbad Caverns, take one of their special guided spelunking tours and see what it's like to squeeze, scramble, and climb your way through crevices for a few hours. One of the destinations is the amazing Hall of the White Giant. This piece for marimba was commissioned in 2012 and captures some of the contrasting feelings of the experience. It is performed by percussionist Brad Meyer.
Range of Light - One of my newest pieces, this four-movement sonata for saxophone and piano looks at Yosemite National Park through the eyes of Ansel Adams. Written in 2014, each movement focuses on a different iconic photograph of the park, and takes the listener on a profound emotional journey. It is performed by Nathan Nabb (saxophone) and James Pitts (piano).
The Ghosts of Mesa Verde - I think everyone who goes to Mesa Verde National Park feels the lingering, mysterious presence of the people who lived there long ago. This 2013 piece for flute duo draws on traditional Puebloan music based on archaeological evidence and oral tradition, and tells an imagined story of discovery, exhilaration, and loss. It is performed by Christina Guenther and Jennifer Keeney.
We have recorded almost all the pieces and are proceeding with editing, so we anticipate having final edits of everything by around March. We also have a firm commitment from a good record label (we'll publish more info as the campaign progresses). If all goes as planned, we anticipate that the whole process will be finished in the next few months and that the CD will be available by the summer of 2015. Of course, every project involves unexpected delays, so we've built some wiggle-room into our plans.
Contributors will receive regular updates on our progress so you know how your money is being spent, and when to expect the final product.
You can check out more about this project at www.stephenlias.com/encounters.
Risks and challenges
We are far enough along on this project that there are few risks. We already have some other grant money in place, so if we meet our support goals through this campaign, we will have sufficient funding to complete the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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