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Composed 2018-2020



Duration 13'

Commissioned by

    Jessica Schury

    2020 Online Cortona Sessions for Jessica Schury

    2020 Online Cortona Sessions for Sarah Brady


    I. Climbing

    II. Chimney Rock

    III. Cunningham Falls

Performed by

    II. - Jessica Schury

    III. - Sarah Brady

Catoctin: I. Climbing Cove Mountain - NotePerformer3 RealizationJoseph Foster Harkins

Program Notes


    Catoctin is a celebration of Catoctin Mountain Park that lies on the Appalachian Mountain’s front wall just outside Thurmont, Maryland. I visited the park a number of times while living in Baltimore as a way of escaping the city’s lights and sounds and to reconnect with the ancient voices of the old and wise Appalachians. Chimney Rock overlooks the gentle hills leading back to Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay, and though its height is quite modest the eastward view is commanding and broad. Place’s impact and influence on my thinking and musical work is strong, and as a place Catoctin is rejuvenating through the work of climbing, spiritual in its breadth, and restorative in the elegant flow of its trails and the majestic Cunningham Falls in the park’s interior.

    Musically the movements of Catoctin fixate on compact, economical gestural ideas that reveal enormous breadth in their elaboration and repetition. “Climbing” uses the regular breathing of an upward hike as a starting point, growing in scope and effort as it nears the summit. “Chimney Rock,” a compact interlude, contemplates our view, tracing the long horizon across a vast expanse of green farmland. “Cunningham Falls” traces the calm, consistent, winding paths of the park’s interior, building to an apex in front of the Falls, then appreciating and reflecting on its majesty.

- September 7 2021

Performance History

    08/19/2020 - III. Cunningham Falls

                         Online Cortona Sessions for New Music

                         Sarah Brady, flute



Chimney Rock


Cunningham Falls with low

water flow, revealing the vast and complex rocky base


Wolf Rock, a popular

sandstone formation


Cunningham Falls with substantially increased water flow


A large chasm in the rock ledge leading to Wolf Rock

Joseph Foster Harkins


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