Program Notes


Inyo is inspired by my many backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and the dramatic topography and bleak beauty of the Eastern Sierra especially.  There, lush alpine meadows and dry, Ancient Bristlecone slopes end in sheer granite bluffs, and icy, crystalline, snow-melt lakes give way to an alien expanse of sudden, desolate, peaks jutting up from red desert—all under the gaze of fourteen-thousand-foot, snowy summits and vivid, Milky Way streaked nights.  I envisioned the piece as a slowly evolving, never-ending journey through this ever-changing Sierra landscape.  I took the title “Inyo” from “Inyo National Forest,” a wilderness area in the Eastern Sierra.  “Inyo” means “dwelling place of the great spirit” in the Mono language.

View from Mt. Whitney, Inyo National Forest

Gabriella Smith