Duration: 7.5 min.
March 26th, 2017
Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin
Lance D. Witty, trumpet and Colette Valentine, piano
Mountain Idyll: Les Trois Tétons, for trumpet and piano, was inspired by my time in the Grand Teton area of northwest Wyoming. Lance Witty had asked me to write him a vocalise for an upcoming recital, and I set to work with that intention. The beauty and majesty of the Rocky Mountains in that corner of the country inspired lyrical melodies, while the Snake River evoked gentle, flowing music, but the landscape also conjured darker, turbulent music. Steep rock faces, sudden storms, swift mountain waterfalls, the solitude, even the need to carry bear spray: they worked their way into my music. While this work explores the physical world of the Grand Tetons, it was also written at a tumultuous time for me, personally. It has not escaped me that the landscape that surrounded me became more than my physical environment. On it was mapped the quiet contentment, the heart-bracing dread, and the spectrum of emotion between them that I and anyone in love is likely to experience.