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Topic: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

  1. #1

    Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    A while ago, I posted a couple of movements from this piece. A few of you were enthusiastic and asked for more. Here is the complete work.

    Given its intent as a community theater piece, I scored this cantata for very sparse instrumentation (violin, French horn [Muir], piano, and chorus) and designed it to be accessible to both novice musicians as well as to general audiences.

    Man of the Mountains is an imaginary recounting of John Muir’s first visit to the glorious Yosemite Valley.

    My father wrote the play and I completed the composition in early 2000. Now I am able to present the work, thanks to Garritan Libraries.

  2. #2

    Re: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    Hello Sean, thanks so much for sharing this!

    I wish I had time to listen to all of it right now, but I have to begin getting ready for work. After having listening to the first 9 minutes or so, though, I will definitely have to come back to this! I've really enjoyed what you've done so far. You have really fit a wide range of emotions so far. The sparse instrumentation is barely noticed in some of the more upbeat areas, and when it is, I feel it is musically appropriate.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece, I hope to finish it later!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  3. #3

    Re: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    Hello, Sean - Thank you so much for posting the entire work, and with the accompanying web page that has the great photo, and all the text - great presentation.

    There's almost an ineffable sweet gentility to the piece, and I find it very effecting. Keeping the instrumentation to these three soloists is perfect for depicting the purity and simplicity of John Muir's soul.

    And what a wonderful collaboration this was, working with your father's text. You must be very happy to have this excellent sounding GPO rendition of the piece.

    Has it been presented on stage? What's described on the web page, with the projections and play of lights - I pictured it being done like that, and know it would be a moving experience to see it performed.



  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    I enjoyed your Man Of The Mountains.

    It was an emotive work for me and I know you and your father put your hearts into this.

    I use to journey into the Olympic Mountains every summer for a week with my father, brothers and others. It definitely changes your perspective on life and also how great a hamburger and milkshake tastes after a week of eating dehydrated food and hopefully a few fresh caught fish.

    I still try to get up into the high country every summer if only for the day.


  5. #5

    Re: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    Wonderful musically journey. It remained interesting right the way through and the new elements you brought in from time to time (such as the choir) were a welcome addition.

    Certainly got images of an old man on some kind of mountain pilgrimage.

    Very well done, and the rendering was nice and understated.
    YouTube Music:
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  6. #6

    Re: Man of the Mountains (complete cantata)

    Sorry for the delay in my response to your posts; I have been away for a few days.

    Thank you all very much for the insightful remarks.

    Randy, I appreciate your feelings about the instrumentation. However, the only reason I scored it that way was to facilitate a low-cost performance--one that, sadly, has not occurred.

    Yes, I am happy with the recording. It was a bear though. I had all those elements that had to be carefully mixed and matched in Audacity. I’m glad it is behind me.

    I am always happy to work with my father, aka Jack Forge. I do love his words, for they practically sing the notes to me.

    Phil, thank you for the compliment.

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean. I just returned to Seattle from a short trip to Orcas Island. While there, I was subjected to what was purported to be a pretty mighty storm for the place. As I stood in the middle of Eastsound in the blackness one night, I could barely see in silhouette the surrounding trees bowing and waving in the wind like giants engaged in a tribal dance. The wind howled, the rain pelted, and I was in bliss.

    Graham, thank you for writing the words that lift every composer’s heart—“remained interesting right the way through”. As we all know, every minute added to a work’s length increases the challenge to the composer. It must be interesting. If not, let it be a shorter composition. We try to keep it essential.

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