Soapstone Prairie Quintet for Woodwinds

Eric is the Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Boise State University. His dynamic music has been received with acclaim all over the world. Here is his program note for this evocative piece.

Soapstone Prairie Quintet was commissioned in 2016 by Classical Revolution Northern Colorado as part of series of multimedia events at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery in Fort Collins, Colorado. The project, called Melody of Our Landscape, celebrated the 2015 release of genetically pure bison into the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in Northern Colorado. The premiere at the Museum of Discovery included panoramic photography and video of western landscapes, projected onto the ceiling of the Otterbox Digital Dome Theatre.”

“The composition is scored for the traditional woodwind quintet instrumentation of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. It is in three movements and is intended to depict the life of bison as a part of the magnificent Western landscape. The first movement, When the Land Belonged to God, is inspired by and named after the masterpiece by American Old West painter C.M. Russell. The second movement, Windswept Winter, portrays the life of bison on the prairie in winter, with its frigid, swirling winds. The final movement, Old Stompin’ Grounds, was inspired by watching video footage of these bison being released from their holding pens into the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, where their ancestors once roamed free.”