Range of Light/The Fifth Lake
Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano; Just Strings Ensemble,; John Schneider, guitar
Most of us are not able to live in a state of nature and wilderness, but perhaps the aesthetic dimension opened through art can bring the image of Nature to us where we do live; that is the goal of this music.
Range of Light was composed after encountering for the first time the writings of naturalist John Muir, in particular the posthumously published excerpts from his journals. In considering what it meant to be a composer with roots in California, the depth of the chord struck by Muir's beautiful language echoed my own desire to bear witness to the glorious reality of the Sierra Nevada mountains; this is a celebratory work.
The Fifth Lake is an instrumental work, with a specific personal program attached. Several years ago I visited a small chain of five jewel-like lakes above the Mineral King Valley in the southern Sierra Nevada: the Mosquito Lakes. We camped at the top lake, the fifth one in the chain, and the next morning I experienced what I believe is signified by the word Peace; a brief state of grace. I took a photograph of the outflow of the lake that morning, which is reproduced on the cover of this booklet. Memory and music can often form a powerful alliance; through the temporal arts we have the power to reinvoke time. The spell, if successful, can be created so as to give substance to the insubstantial; this is the potential triumph of aesthetic mimesis over linear time.
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New Albion Records, Inc.