The 100th meridian runs from pole to pole, 100 degrees longitude west of the prime meridian in Greenwich, England. It cuts through six U.S. states forming a partial boundary between Oklahoma and Texas. Moving west from the Mississippi, one leaves the lushness of the great river valley and enters the arid and dry prairie. This is where I began to draw inspiration for an orchestra work entitled, Prairie Music. The movements are descriptive: A Cloudless Sky, The Restlessness of Wind, Ghost Dance, and Thundering Hooves. It will all come to a head when I serve as an artist-in-residence at the Badlands National Park in September of 2020. Immersed in the culture of this part of our country and all of its history, I will, for the first time in many years, work in isolation, living and breathing the music while and teaching the children in the nearby rural schools about deep listening in nature. You can listen to some excerpts from some of the music I have already sketched out: a section from Ghost Dance, The Restlessness of Wind, and Thundering Hooves.
The Artist in Residence program at Badlands National Park was founded in 1996 and is open to all professional artists who are US citizens.Writers, composers and all visual and performing artists are invited to interpret this wind-swept environment through their work. The program provides time for artists to get away from everyday responsibilities to focus on their surroundings and their medium while interpreting the unique themes of Badlands National Park. Artists will translate the meanings and significance (themes) of Badlands National Park into