Composing in the Wilderness ’13 Part 3
Yesterday we worked like ground squirrels preparing for winter, only we were preparing our pieces. Today, we met at the Museum of the North. 2013 is the 100 year anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinnley. A special exhibition highlights the journey. I spent about a half hour in the “Place Where You Go to Listen”. John Luther Adams’ installation cannot be grasped in a half hour, or in one visit. I noted this year, while the colors and frequencies were similar to my visit last July, much more rumbling – meaning more earth activity. I would love to visit in Winter, in the dark or during the Aurora Borealis. Back in Denali, we attended the music festival, and were treated to Eric DeLuca’s premiere of “Winter” which he created for the park. The day topped off with pizza at the Prospector just outside of the park.
Rehearsals have been wonderful! These performers are all top notch. I always ask players to recommend something they think would make the piece better (I’m usually faced with looks of shock). In this case, they recommended a big crescendo and sharp cut off at a point just before the climb to the piece’s peak moment begins. Wonderful – a great moment! Our performance is located at the Blue Loon, a restaurant/bar with a performance space. We’re grabbing a bite to eat and learn that our youngest composer will not be able to sit inside. In Alaska, she’s under age. Our hearts are wrenching. My piece is first, and I go outside to sit with her. We open the door beside the stage so she can hear her piece. It’s great. All the pieces were performed wonderfully. It’s totally amazing how our collective experience result in such diverse pieces of music. The after party consisted of a game of Pictionary in which my team lost because we couldn’t remember the name of Beethoven’s only opera. Of course, it’s Fidelio.