Driving across the great expanse of Arizona and New Mexico, one cannot help but be inspired by the magnificent landscape. There are long stretches of lonely desert, majestic, purple mountains, prairie grassland for as far as the eye can see. There are also mesas. A mesa is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic tabletop shape. In this part of the USA, violent thunderstorms can strike up very quickly. The raindrops are fat and heavy. The wind is powerful and the lightning across the endless sky is nothing short of breathtaking. And after such a storm, there may appear a beautiful, colorful rainbow. The composer experienced one of these amazing storms while journeying on the iconic Route 66. As the storm clouds cleared, an enormous mesa was visible on the horizon. Above this mesa, straddling it from one side to the other was a giant rainbow.
Sinking into a deep philosophical state of mind, the composer began to consider this spectacular phenomenon, a natural occurrence which has witnessed thousands of years of history. Whether it be the original native peoples of the area, the Spanish explorers or the great migration west from the Northeastern United States, these violent storms and the subsequent beauty of the rainbow over the mesa was and is everlasting.
"Rainbow on the Mesa" was commissioned by the Seoul Horn Club in South Korea.
It was composed on April 12-19, 2016 in Luxembourg.
12 Horns (3 quartets)
Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Bell Tree, Tibetan Bowls, Glockenspiel, Tambourine, Gong, Suspended Cymbal, Maracas, Whip Crack, Crash Cymbal