Openings is written for winds and percussion. There are four movements: mouth, mind, eye and ear. The piece began in 2004 as I walked up the Spruce Spring Trail near Red Canyon campground in the Manzano Wilderness for the first time. Openings is physically connected to the density of the trail as one climbs up a ridge of the mountain. When you've reached a certain height there are openings out into the mesa where you can see for miles and miles. Openings is artistically connected to Encounter, the installation piece I made in collaboration with visual artist Hee Sook Kim.
What connects them both are the Red Canyon Poems I wrote in four parts from fall 2005 through summer 2006. Each part corresponds to a season and I wrote the poems, with special attention given to the five senses, during walks up the Spruce Spring trail in each of the four seasons. Twelve of those poems are found in Encounter. And one of those twelve is part of Openings too. Not as an inspiration to the piece but actually part of the piece. To be read before listening, not as a program description, but instead simply as part of the experience of Openings itself: a way of experiencing music that includes not only what we hear but how and what we see and think, and, especially, how we breathe.