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Ganoga

Composed 2023

Instrumentation

    vibraphone

    piano

Duration 7'

Composed for

    Micheal Barnes

Program Notes

 

    This entire piece is built to specifically mimic the lengths and contours of the waterfalls found in Ganoga Glen within Rickett’s Glen State Park, Pennsylvania. Between the two glens of Kitchen Creek, Ganoga Glen and sister Glen Leigh, I feel the Ganoga side is noticeably more dramatic. On average, the waterfalls are taller, more water flows through it, and the sheer quantity of large falls on that side border on overwhelming. This is especially felt while ascending Ganoga Glen, where six falls over 35 feet, including the behemoth Ganoga at 94’, tower over the path amongst other relatively smaller falls. The epic grandeur and constantly cool temperature are enough to make this trip a vital experience, but to witness the glen in full glory during the spring wet season is transcendental.

     Ganoga, then, builds its structure around the height in feet of all 10 named waterfalls in Ganoga Glen from top to bottom – Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Ganoga, Seneca, Delaware, Mohican, Conestoga, Tuscarora, and Erie. Harmonic centers shift in approximate time to both the length of its fall and the first letter of the fall’s name, serendipitously giving rise to a referential structure that drifts in and out of E that accentuatues the beauty and drama of the structure our natural world has suggested. It is my hope that this musical realization of Ganoga Glen’s beautiful architecture does justice to an area that often leaves me without words.

 

May 9 2023

Performance History

    08/20/2021 - Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA

                         East Coast Contemporary Ensemble:

                         Barret Ham, bass clarinet | Natalie Boberg, violin | Geoffrey Burleson, piano

Joseph Foster Harkins

composer

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