On the brink of the Depression in 1929, Georgia O'Keeffe - America's first great modernist painter - headed west. In the bright light of the New Mexico desert, she forged an independent life and found the solitude she needed for her truly original art.
The image of a deer skull superimposed over a rocky landscape is at once serene and startling, and Ruehr’s (b. 1963) music reflects both. Its broad orchestral shades, sweeping string writing, and arching motives, put across with clarity by solo trumpet, brings to mind classic film music and the rural Americana of Copland’s popular scores. Yet these elements grind against one another for patches of rough dissonance. The music also seems to spin in many directions at once. Brass and woodwind calls dart out from the music’s bubbling rhythm, while doubled octaves in basses and piano ground the music to the earth.