Composed 2020



Duration 7'

Commissioned by

    2020 Online Cortona Sessions for Sarah Brady

Performed by

    Sarah Brady, flute

Program Notes

    The Appalachian Mountains have played a central, critical role in the underlying emotion informing my music, with various day hikes in Central Pennsylvania, Eastern Kentucky, and now Western Maryland serving as starting points for the conception of new works. Catoctin relates my experiences in and fondness for Catoctin Mountain Park outside Thurmont, MD, particularly its abundance of natural wonders, overlooks, and innumerable stone formations. Catoctin Mountain, and the Appalachian range with it, feels stoic and wise in its rugged, craggy state. While the younger mountains of the Rockies excel in height and girth, these complex, weathered ridges have stood since the Paleozoic era, with time slowly removing the dirt and soil to reveal the strong mess of shattered rock and greenstone characteristic of Catoctin in particular. I feel at peace on the ridge, viewing the world like the mountain has done for millions of years, and during moments of intense internal conflict or external stress, I seek its weathered wisdom.

    Catoctin was composed for Sarah Brady and the 2020 Cortona Sessions, which was hosted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic also inspired many folks to venture into the mountains, some for the first time, proving the eternal appeal of these beautiful hills.

June 23 2020

Performance History

    08/19/2020 - Online Cortona Sessions for New Music

                         Sarah Brady, flute

Joseph Foster Harkins