Cloud Forest


Cloud Forest was inspired by my visits to Ecuador, my travels between Quito and Esmeraldas, and the Ecuadorian cloud forests. It begins with the spinning, uneven journey from the top of Ecuador to the Pacific Ocean and ends with the trip back to Quito. The work also depicts the beauty of the lush forests and the great times I had with my friends in Ecuador.

When I arrived in Esmeraldas after my long journey from Quito, the marimba I had expected to perform on was not there. The only marimba available was a small traditional instrument that had been built by a local musician. The piece I had planned to perform would not fit on this marimba. Rather than give up, I took the two hours I had before the concert, came up with some ideas, and then improvised a work that I entitled
Journey to Esmeraldas. The main themes in Cloud Forest come from this improvisation.

Cloud Forest was commissioned by Spindrift Percussion Group in 2005. The original version was for percussion trio and soloist. In 2008 I revised the work for marimba soloist and percussion quartet.


Cloud Forest Inspiration (1 of 4)
Learning a little about traditional Ecuadorian marimba in Esmereldas

Cloud Forest Inspiration (3 of 4)
A view of the Pacific Ocean from the beach in Esmereldas

Cloud Forest Inspiration (1 of 1)
With percussionists at the National Conservatory in Quito, Ecuador

Cloud Forest Inspiration (4 of 4)
With percussionists at the National Conservatory in Quito, Ecuador


Cloud Forest Inspiration (2 of 4)
An amazing fruit stand somewhere between Esmereldas and Quito.