Climbing Cove Mountain
Cove Mountain is a relatively small mountain, just under 1400 ft, that keeps watch over the Susquehanna River as it flows past Duncannon, Pennsylvania, due north of Harrisburg. Getting there is rather interesting given that the easiest and most common approach to the mountain threads through the majority of what is visible from the overlook on the mountain’s eastern side. US 22, the highway from Harrisburg that parallels the Susquehanna river, snakes on the river’s eastern side and crosses to the opposite side to join US 11-15 north towards Williamsport (famous for the Little League World Series) at Duncannon, on the same bridge that the Appalachian Trail takes advantage of to also cross the Susquehanna. From there, you drive through the town, paralleling the AT straight to the base of the mountain, which looms over the small and quaint community at its feet. From here, the AT ascends the mountain’s north face to an overlook named “Hawk Rock” and continues west/south along the ridge. What’s more interesting, especially to a local such as myself, is hiking the mountain’s northeast face, a primarily 60 degree plus climb for a mile from the base to the overlook on that side. Upon reaching the overlook, you may trace your arrival to the mountain and bask in the glory that is the mountains of Central PA.
Climbing Cove Mountain is the first of a handful of pieces inspired by this place, where I have spent countless hours reflecting on, escaping from, or actively plotting against the world. This particular work gets us up to the overlook, mimicking actions like heavy breathing, rock scrambling, and jumping up ledges on our way up the mountain. The path continually becomes steeper until arriving at the overlook, and this is also reflected in musical parameters.
Climbing Cove Mountain was commissioned by and composed with much joy for Elizabeth Darling in late fall of 2018, when Pennsylvania, and the mountain, is at its most beautiful.
November 7 2018
11/15/2019 - University of Oregon | Tori Calderone Moreira, flute
Joseph Foster Harkins