Composer Benjamin Park felt exhausted during the 2016 election. He remembers the nonstop political coverage and the growing tension within the United States. He decided to write music that embodied the disconnect -- and addressed the division. 

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The result is "For Purple Mountains" -- a composition written for the inaugural year of a chamber music festival in Boulder, Colorado. Ben used portions of the melody from "America the Beautiful" to write a piece about the harsh political divide in our country. He also took inspiration from the majestic landscape of Boulder.

Hear a recording of Benjamin Parks's "For Purple Mountains" in the CPR Performance Studio -- played by musicians from the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival -- in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Explore more from Benjamin Park and the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival:

  • Listen to -- and read more about -- Ben's newer composition for the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival's 2018 season, called "Thoughts and Prayers." 
  • Listen to a piece Ben wrote for the 150th anniversary of the New England Conservatory in Boston. 
  • Watch Boston-based Freisinger Chamber Orchestra perform Ben's piece "It Only Goes Forward."
  • Learn about the Young Artist Program at the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival.