Alan Mackwell - Uncompahgre
Uncompahgre is a piece based on experiences on Uncompahgre Peak in Southern Colorado. The piece doesn’t necessarily have a special structure or technical musical complexion. It was simply written to illustrate my emotions and feelings during my time on top of a mountain.
For Symphony Orchestra
There are several stages of emotion I experienced while on the peak. The piece begins with a horn solo. Quiet and solemn, but grows into a powerful and glorious explosion as I make my way up to the summit and view the splendor of the landscape. A mixture of relief and awe overtakes any fatigue I feel as I stand at the top. After a while, the gloriousness starts to temper and I begin to see the details in the landscape around me. The woodwinds begin a series of fast runs, as the role of nature, as my experience comes to realization. The wind, the birds, and the shouts of happy people begin to flow into one, happy and blissful sense of enjoyment. This sense of enjoyment comes to a climax, resulting in a sudden realization of success, which is illustrated through a rhythmic feel and general joy, coupled with large, brassy sounds. As I prepare to make my descent from the peak, I take my last look around. The view is as glorious as it was when I first reached the summit. The mountains, the cloud formations, the mass of trees everywhere, everything is beautiful and amazing. The piece comes to a dramatic and intense close as I turn to leave.