Gwyneth Walker

Of Cliffs and Sacred Spaces

for Two Cellos (2023)

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Commissioned by Cellists Beth Vanderborgh (University of Wyoming, Laramie) and Amy Frost Baumgarten (Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra); premiered at Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver, CO on September 8, 2023

Of Cliffs and Sacred Spaces is inspired by the Vedauwoo rock formations in Eastern Wyoming. These spectacular outcroppings are considered to be sacred places. The Arapaho Indians refer to this as the Land of the Earthborn Spirit. Native Americans have come here on their vision quests.

The four movements of this cello duet reflect the various ways that visitors might experience Vedauwoo:

1. Looking Up: from the base, one looks up in wonderment at the magnificent rocks

2. As a Team -- Where Two Can go: adventurers, in teams of two, may climb the rock faces

3. Prayer: prayer is always part of the sacred rocks

4. Beyond Time and Space: and, at the height of the summit, one has reached a place beyond time and space

Notes by the composer