Badlands (2013) is a set of musical landscapes for string quartet, commissioned by Freya String Quartet.
Badlands was inspired by the landscapes of western North Dakota. The badlands are an ancient geological wonder undergoing drastic changes. A heavily eroded and barren region, marked by intricate erosional sculpturing and breathtaking vistas, the badlands are threatened by a rampant 21st century oil and gas boom.
The two movements are landscapes for string quartet. "November (pas de deux)" draws inspiration from the endless horizon and sky of the prairie, a sea of grass dancing in the wind, drifting clouds. "Red roads, white skies" is a winter badlands landscape; white snow and sky against the red of the scoria roads and buttes.
commissioned by Freya String Quartet
premiere: Freya String Quartet (Pittsburgh, PA), February 21 2014
additional performances: Freya String Quartet, March 2014