The Ghosts of Mesa Verde (2013)

This piece is part of my National Park Series.

Anyone who has ever visited the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park knows the eerie emptiness that pervades this unusual location.  I recently had the added opportunity to tour the ruins in the dead of winter with deep snow on the ground and not another tourist in the park.  Even under such circumstances, I couldn't escape the sensation that these abandoned structures are still alive with the echoes and memories of the Puebloan people that left so long ago.  This composition, written in 2013, imagines a tentative descent into an ancient kiva where the past comes to life in a vibrant and exuberant dance, then evaporates suddenly as the fire sends smoke up the chimney and out into the night. 

Check out this short video on a much better way to assemble the score for performance.