This piece was first sketched during a 6-week road trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. At the time I was reading the book My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir from which this piece takes its title. I was traveling through the area that inspired the book, almost exactly 100 years after it was written, and reflecting on the changes that environment has undergone over those 100 years. The antiphonal quality of this piece was sketched as I hiked through Yosemite, shouting and then listening to the massive reverberations from the 3,000 foot granite cliffs. I stood there imagining a brass fanfare with the performers spatialized around the valley, playing with an epic sound befitting that space. This piece grew from that vividly imagined picture of brass playing at the tops of their lungs from the cliff tops of the Yosemite Valley and hearing their sound reverberating endlessly throughout the valley.
Reading: Bowling Green State University Wind Ensemble Brass, August 2014.