Southwest Landscapes is an ode to the American Southwest. Each of the three movements takes influence from individual landscape paintings by Southwestern artists: Marvel of Ages by G. Russell Case, Weathered Moon by David Griffin, and Abstrata by Len Chmiel. Rather than attempt to recreate these works in an acoustic medium, I aimed to craft music based on my own experience inhabiting each painting’s emotional space.
The first movement, “Marvel of Ages,” celebrates the awe produced by massive geological formations and the subsequent anxious awareness of one’s relative smallness. The nocturnal second movement “Weathered Moon” can be thought of as a dialogue between a lone observer and the moonlit desert landscape; one experiences a collection of introspective emotions ranging from insecurity to content quietude. The final movement, “Abstrata,” is a hysteric dance influenced by steep, jagged cliffs and the inescapable heat of the Southwest.
Commissioned by clarinetist Audrey Miller, Southwest Landscapes was completed during the winter of 2013-2014 under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Grantham. Originally composed for clarinet and tenor saxophone, it was later transcribed for clarinet and bassoon.
Duration: c. 12’ 30”