Opus 548

A Hiker’s Gear (2004)

for Organ and Opt. Narrator

Text by the composer

  • Introduction: The Great Outdoors
  • The Hat
  • The Boots
  • The Backpack
  • The Jacket
  • Gorp
  • The Hike: Onward and Upward

Duration: 8.5 min.

Dedication: in memory of “Uncle Bill” Matthews

Commission: Commissioned by Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.

Publisher: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.

Performance materials available from the publisher.

A Hiker’s Gear (2004) for organ and opt. narrator was commissioned by Wayne Leupold Editions as part of their series of “organ demonstrators.” The movements of the work correspond both to families of organ stops (and organ characteristics) as well as elements of the equipment of a hiker. The work may be performed as an “organ demonstrator” with narration between the movements. It would be ideal if the narrator were dressed as a hiker with all of the gear mentioned in the work. Alternatively, the piece can simply be performed as a short concert suite.

The work is dedicated in memory of “Uncle Bill” Matthews—founder of the Tahawus Hikers and an avid hiker and outdoorsman. The Tahawus Hikers took an annual trip each May to Johns Brook Lodge in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Uncle Bill (along with “Aunt Helen” Matthews) shared his love of hiking with at least two generations of friends and family.

The opening movement of the work (Introduction: The Great Outdoors) presents all of the material upon which the following movements are based. Each movements takes a small element from the introduction (something that may only have been one measure or a simple figuration) and extends it into an entire movement. The final movement is a slightly extended version of the first movement.