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When Michael Gordon was approached to compose his epic, inspirational work Natural History, he had one question to answer: If Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park were a symphony, what would it sound like? Conducted by Teddy Abrams and performed by the Britt Orchestra with members of the Klamath Tribe’s percussion group Steiger Butte Drum and Singers, Natural History stands tall as a celebration of the park’s natural wonders, as well as a conduit to the spiritual history of the surrounding community.

Natural History was commissioned by the Britt Music & Arts Festival to commemorate the centennial of the National Parks Service, and was performed on August 20, 2016 at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, Oregon. As Gordon describes it in the short documentary film Symphony for Nature (directed by Anne Flatté and airing on select PBS stations): “Originally it was for an orchestra of 40 musicians, which is already a lot of people, but the plans for the piece kept growing. We added a chorus, and then [Britt] put me in touch with the Klamath Tribe, so now we have this project with a lot of forces working together.”

: : a note on HD audio : :
"Natural History" is available high-resolution 24-bit 96kHz audio. Due to the size of the file however, we are unable to post this version to Bandcamp (the audio posted here is 16-bit 44.1kHz). If interested in [900mb] high-res, please purchase at the Bang on a Can Store.


released February 2, 2018

Directed by Anne Flatte, Symphony for Nature: The Britt Orchestra at Crater Lake documents the July 2016 premiere of Natural History. The film is airing on select PBS stations nationwide.

Commissioned by Britt Music & Arts Festival, in celebration of the centennial of the National Parks Service and Crater Lake National Park

Performed on August 20, 2016 at the Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon
Recorded by George Relles Sound, Inc.

Mixed and mastered by Nathaniel Reichman


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Michael Gordon New York, New York

Michael Gordon's music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, "the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism."

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