For many years I have been attracted to the writings of John Muir (1838-1914), the Scottish born American naturalist. As one who has backpacked in the Sierra Nevada Mountains range in California I have felt a close affinity with his writings and his concern for the environment.
The text for the six different movements are taken from Muir's writings between the years 1863 to 1875, and in setting Muir's words to music I have tried to capture his sense of wonder at the beauty and miracle of the mountains. Most of the music is bright and tonal with only a few exceptions, the most important being the final movement with its question of what role will man play in the mountains destiny. The work begins and ends with an offstage trumpet, suggesting a voice in the wilderness, and the final solo ends with a question, not a resolution.