Photo: Grand Teton National Park, WY, June, 2011
Lodgepole Pyre: Three Teton Scenes (2016)
Total duration ca. 11'
Three continuous-movement work:
1. "Jenny Lake Lodge"
3. "Suddenly, Mountains"
Premiered in August 2016
by Rick Barber at Berol Lodge,
AMK Ranch, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Watch a video of the premiere of this work through YouTube
Purchase this score from
Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $10.00
In 2011 I had the privilege to visit Grand Teton National Park (and Yellowstone) with my family, staying within the park at Jenny Lake Lodge. I was immediately struck by the vast openness, imposing grandeur, and comparative quiet and stillness of this place. I was also particularly moved to see the standing and fallen charred lodgepole pine trees from the massive fire that took place in the 80’s in the national parks. Due to the arid climate, the natural processes both of degradation as well as new growth have been slowed nearly to a standstill. This work for solo bass, composed for the Wyoming Festival, is cast in three movements played continuously. The first is an illustration of nostalgia. The second contrasts two primary ideas, one anxious and one elegiac. It elaborates on both the brittle, burnt qualities of the trees as well as the morbid loveliness of the skeletal groves. The final movement’s title refers to the topography of Grand Teton National Park, as there are no foothills, but instead flatlands and scrub before, suddenly, mountains appear. Imposing, gorgeous, ominous, seemingly unchanging, their music is one of waiting. Formally, earlier gestures and ideas appear, as the mountains oversee everything in the park. The piece is dedicated to my dear friend Michael Brown.