In the early summer of 2018, I found myself driving back to Arizona from a friend’s graduation ceremony in southern Colorado. It was the middle of the day as I wound through the mountains. The drive was peaceful and smooth, with a warm sun and a pleasantly empty road keeping me company. The thick trees and rural farmland I drove past seemed like something from a movie, trying to further convince me that life here moved at a pace somewhat slower than what I was accustomed to. I approached a sign that read “Wolf’s Creek Pass,” and recalled my mother telling me to fully appreciate the beauty of it as I drove through; this was one of her favorite places to hike and explore with her dad when she was young, and she wanted me to experience the same beauty that she had often marveled at. I had driven through here a few days earlier and enjoyed the views as much as I could. On the way back, I decided that I would add to the experience by listening to an album I had recently discovered, Béla Fleck’s Ten from Little Worlds, a smaller sampling of his full 3-disc Little Worlds.
It was this moment that served as the inspiration for my creative thesis project. I was fascinated by the interplay between the music and the scenery around me; on top of appreciating the related moods that both facets evoked, it seemed at times as if certain transitions between sections and tracks in the album were mirrored by small changes or disruptions in the general scenery. While it was interesting enough to observe the natural similarities that seemed to exist simply by chance, I was eager to explore the idea of taking a specific stretch of scenery and composing a piece of music that complemented and interacted with it.