By Esther Rogers
Sitting at my desk in the corner listening to a recording of Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein conducting. It's really quite an amazing recording and is actually homework for my job: In July I'm playing a chamber music version of the symphony for a fascinating gig with Good Luck Restaurant. "A five-course dinner, with wine pairings, will draw inspiration from the final movement of this piece, in which a child recounts his vision of heaven as being a feast for the saints."
Preparations for my western adventure continue... Tickets purchased! Have decided on taking the train from Rochester to Denver where I will car pool to Durango and then I'll fly home. Taking the train on the way there will keep my cost down by about a third and add to the adventure! It's also a little easier with a cello... but it will be LONG! I'm looking forward to the time to focus on preparing my mind for the residency after what I expect will be a really busy month previous...
I have also been doing a little reading about Canyon of the Ancients and am learning lots of new things:
-The most famous cliff dwellings were built by a group called the "Anasazi". The earliest members of this group, known as Basket Makers, began farming in northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, southern Utah, and southern Colorado about the time of Christ. They gradually developed a type of many-storied building called a Pueblo. For this reason, all groups in Anasazi history after about AD700 are called Pueblo Indians.
WORLD BOOK Encyclopedia
-Anasazi is the Navajo name for the people who lived in the Four Corners between AD 1 and AD 1300. The population size varied over time, but at its peak many thousands of families occupied the southwest corner of Colorado. Their modern descendants, the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona, prefer the term Ancestral Pueblo rather than "Anasazi." http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ahc/more.html
-FALL CONDITIONS: Autumn may be the ideal season to experience Canyons of the Ancients. The months of September, October, and November are usually dry and sunny with moderate temperatures, and December can be mild as well. Daytime highs are often between 50 and 70 F (10 to 20 C) although nights are significantly colder. The lower angle of the midday sun brings richer color and more dramatic shadow to the canyon landscape.
I'm mentally making note of packing items... staff paper, good pencils, soft cello case in addition to hard- (probably I don't have room?!), hat... Can I purchase extra large paper in Durango?... I am anxious to learn more about exactly where I'll be housed, what I'll need!
A Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration
Aldo & Leonardo, a partnership between Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, is a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The project is inspired by the scientific wisdom of Aldo Leopold and the artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Our endeavor is an interdisciplinary collaboration of artists and scientists designed to celebrate the lands, resources and opportunities protected by the Wilderness Act. In 2013, we are hosting one-month residencies in six diverse wilderness areas. Artists will work alongside wildland research scientists and gain firsthand knowledge of the wonders, complexities and challenges of our nation's wildest places. The result will be a body of work that creatively illustrates the value of wild areas and honors the scientific efforts to preserve wilderness for the next fifty years.