Catch “the Spirit of the Mountains” on The American Sound

Catch "the spirit of the mountains" on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.(Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli (Creative Commons/Flickr))
Catch "the spirit of the mountains" on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.(Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli (Creative Commons/Flickr))

Mountains might seem a strange thing for an Ohio girl to write about. After all, they say “write what you know,” and what does someone from a notoriously flat state (though, I must say, not as flat as its reputation might suggest) really know about such things as mountains?

It’s a good point. I don’t know the names of any items of specialized mountain climbing gear. I don’t know the difference between Housemaid’s Knee and Alpine Knee. To me, an open book is something you read, perhaps while lounging by the fire back at the lodge while the others are out climbing mountains. And Carabiner is where I plan to take my next vacation.

But having lived in North Carolina for six years, I do know about the effect that mountains can have on you. Driving into the mountains from beyond brings about a feeling of entering a special place, somewhere primordial, as the hills themselves surround you. The fresh air of the foothills is intoxicating. The sounds of birds, squirrels and leaves landing before your feet as they crunch gravel and twigs on a well-worn path – these are sounds of the mountains in action.

And then you reach the summit, and a hawk catches an air current in an azure sky, tree-topped hill crests point to the heavens as far as the eye can see and the ground beneath you is suddenly so solid that you realize everything around you is where it always has been, and where it should be.

Saturday and Tuesday evenings on The American Sound we’ll hear Pulitzer Prize-winning, Ohio-born composer Robert Ward’s Appalachian Ditties and Dances, his effort to, as he put it, “catch the spirit of the mountains and the people” of Appalachia. We’ll also hear Jeremy Cohen‘s fun, Latin-inspired Guamba and music from the small screen for a most whimsical holiday.

Hope you can join me for “the spirit of the mountains” – and more – on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday and now also at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Classical 101.

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