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Cumberland Pilgrimage

Composed 2019



    clarinet in A

    soprano/alto saxophones (one player)

    bass clarinet


    percussion (2 players)

Duration 21'

Commissioned by

    Andrew Compton, clarinet

Performed by

    Patrick Grimone, oboe | Andrew Compton,            clarinet | Erick Miranda, saxophones |                    Alexandra Doyle, bass clarinet | Andi Bragiel,        bassoon | Brandon Dodge and Micheal Barnes,      percussion | Rob Stull, conductor

Cumberland Pilgrimage: II. Climbing Cumberland Mountain (NotePerformer3 realization)Joseph Foster Harkins

Program Notes

    The majority of my works from the end of 2018 through spring of 2019 have focused on my relationship to and experiences in the natural world. Hiking is a way for me to connect deeply with my inner self through a connection with the world at large, and while hiking for some can be a way to escape the fast-paced, stressful world we inhabit, I run to the Appalachian Mountains to determine and distinguish what my connections to that world are. The obvious beauties of panoramic vistas are to me open avenues to deep thought and reflection, and the physical act of traversing a mountain teach me how to continue moving forward within the constant informational bombardment of the human world.

    While living in Cincinnati I explored the eastern Kentucky Appalachians extensively, including a trip to the Kentucky/Tennessee border to explore the famous Cumberland Gap and the Sand Cave/White Rocks landmarks toward the eastern edges of the National Park border. The morning of my hike I had the distinct pleasure of watching fog roll through the Gap, with the rising sun occasionally peeking through to offer its light and warmth. After passing through the gap the monolithic, looming Cumberland Mountains to the left taunted my travel to the base of the trail. I then summited the mountain and was rewarded with the awe-inspiring Sand Cave, and then the surreal vistas of White Rocks. This work is inspired by this introspective pilgrimage, and as time moves forward, the more I visit these wonderful natural wonders the more I connect to my deepest self, and thus connect more deeply to the music I create. Mountains are truly inspirational, and music making is the closest thing to replicating their awesome might.

    Cumberland Pilgrimage was composed for clarinetist Andrew Compton in March of 2019.


March 24 2019

Performance History

    04/18/2019 - University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

                         Robert Stull, conductor

Joseph Foster Harkins


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