Wild Beauty was composed in response to The North Country National Scenic Trail; the longest in the National Trails System, stretching 4,600 miles over 7 states from the middle of North Dakota to the Vermont border of New York. Approximately 500 miles of the Trail meander through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where live and have spent many happy hours exploring stretches of the Trail.

Wild Beauty divides into five sections: Morning Chorus, Waves, Fog, Dancing in the Rain and Sunset. One of the most dramatic features of our region is the unpredictable weather patterns. One can experience many varieties of weather on the same day; from fog to rain to spectacular winds creating even more spectacular waves along our lakeshore. I have reflected on this from my own personal experiences and tried to capture this in Wild Beauty. 

A second feature of the region is the unique chorus of bird songs that are an ever-present underscore to any hike on the Trail. In Wild Beauty,I have included a few of these songs including the white throated sparrow that opens the piece in the violin as well as the songs of the common loon, barred owl, chickadee, and the white crowned sparrow. 

Finally, I invited the audience to take part in the performance of this piece. Members of the audience were invited to join in with bird calls to share in completing the soundscape of the morning chorus that opens the piece creating what I hope an immersive experience.