I hope when you visit national parks or monuments you take the time to stop at the visitor’s centers. All offer books, calendars, t-shirts, hats, etc. tied to the place you are visiting or others nearby. There are also items for kids to stoke their interest in stars, dinosaurs and bugs, hoping that when they return home they’ll still be interested in the natural world. Have you taken the time to put on the headphones and listen to the cds? I try to pick up a new cd every trip I make. It is not only good music but it reconnects me to the trip, the place, and the people.
Music often has an identifiable geographical element reflecting the culture and landscape. The southwest and mountainwest V.Cs. have a strong Native American offering, R. Carlos Nakai and his beautiful flute for example, as well as others who have studied and contributed to the Native American genre. The V.Cs. also offer music that evokes images and the “feel” of the landscape itself — vistas, canyons, trees and water–through the music itself as well as ambient sounds — birds, wind, leaves and again, water . Turn off any other music you have going right now and click on “Escalante“ to listen to this sample from Peaks, Plateaus & Canyons, produced by Orange Tree Productions, and part of The National Park Series. Once the audio player begins you can return to this window to finish reading. From the National Park Series I have also purchased Great Smoky Mountains, The Living Desert, Native Lands, and The Sounds of The Rocky Mountains, all distill place into sound.
“Escalante” takes my mind back to the hike to Druid Arch in the Needles District of Canyonlands. I feel the walking pace, hear the bird calls and can almost smell the cliff rose and sage. I hope you enjoy the clip and that you listen to the samples for the other cds linked above. Orange Tree, in the National Park Series, has many others as well, some may be parks that you have visited or in regions where you live. You can see for yourself how music evokes place.