Sadly I only visited the badlands of North Dakota very briefly many years ago. Even more sadly my camera wasn’t working at the time so I wasn’t able to record the hauntingly beautiful landscape, so I did the next best thing and wrote some music about it instead…..
Of course the music of any landscape is completely abstract, so for every person that can identify with it, there will be many more who cannot – we all have different senses and points of reference, which is a very good thing.
This music is also dedicated to Yellow Bird, Kent, Grover and Dan, “The Wolf at Twilight”
This song is about the destruction of the great buffalo herds of North America in the late 1800’s, which coincided with the final demise of the last remaining native Indian tribes at that time. Like them, a very small remnant of the original buffalo population survived in Yellowstone National Park, and they are still there to this day.
The song is on my new album “Heading West” released on January 15th 2013. The album grew out of reflections on an epic journey I once took across the North American continent. Occasionally it’s good to give oneself up to a particular landscape in your experience, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it and to listen to the people who made their mark on it. It isn’t simply the sublime thrill of moving through magnificent plains, mountain ranges, valleys and cities. It could be the sigh of the wind through juniper trees, or the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset, or the smell of an old wooden church on a quiet street. Distinctive music often defines cultures that have emerged from such a landscape, and so drawing on folk, gospel and jazz influences, the songs on Heading West are reflections and dreams from my journey.