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Saltscape (2015)

for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion (see below)

ca. 15'

percussion instruments 

crotales, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, triangle, suspended cymbal, 3 woodblocks (low, middle, high), tam-tam (small or mid-size), bass drum (kick).

Score: $15 

Parts: $5 

Score + Parts: $18


In the summer of 2014 I drove with my sister from Colorado to California, and on our way we stopped to marvel at the great Salt Flats of Utah, which are the remains of an ancient lake. The landscape is striking and beautiful in a desolate, otherworldly kind of way. As I stared across the seemingly endless, shapeless white terrain, mountains on the horizon, I was struck by both the immense scale of time evident in such a sight as well as its tremendous spiritual power. In such places, the earth is felt as a majestic ancient life-force, fierce and powerful. Its staggering depth and its 4.5 billion years put our meager human existence into perspective. This piece attempts to evoke some of these feelings - the spirituality, intensity, and sheer majesty of the earth in its long age. I hope it will also inspire listeners to foster a greater respect for it amidst the current environmental catastrophe we are facing.


Saltscape was commissioned by and composed for Citywater - it was a pleasure to collaborate with them once again. (R.S.)

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