Assistant professor Daniel M. Ketter and instructor Emlyn P. Johnson of The American Wild Ensemble have released a new album, Music in the American Wild, through the ArtistShare label.
The group commissioned 11 composers to create 11 original pieces inspired by America’s national parks in celebration of the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. The album was supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The compositions were played in a tour of seven national parks so that they could be experienced in the places that inspired them.
The first disc of this two CD work is also set as a video album available to stream online, with an hour of footage taken during the tour. The video album, soon to be released, is intended to help people to connect the musical pieces with the natural context of their inspiration and performance. It is also meant to highlight beautiful footage of America’s great landscapes and history.
This is Johnson’s and Ketter’s first year at Missouri State University.
Capturing the spirit of the parks was important to the group.
Says Ketter, “We found that playing the pieces in the places that inspired them was a very integrated artistic experience and have continued to find ways to program and perform music that fits specific outdoor settings or supports the mission of different organizations. This project fits our overall goal of bringing music to specific communities, to help people to celebrate ideas and places that are important to them.”