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New Release!
Sierra Passage, a suite of seven movements of solo piano music describing an imaginary journey through the mountains, inspired by Holst's The Planets. The CD of acoustic solo piano music is mounted in the inside back cover of a beautifully printed booklet of drawings and poems, also by the composer's hand, available at

Seven poems, drawings, and music comprise the Sierra Passage suite, initially released on tape cassette in 1986, and now in 2008 on CD. View the drawings and poems. (Beautifully printed booklet with CD attached to inside back cover to be available July 2008 at


Drawings, poems & music © 1986 David Erskine
Oakland, California

Inspired by Holst's program music "The Planets", this original acoustic solo piano music describes an imaginary voyage through the mountains in 7 movements. This contemporary classical music is vivid and thoughtful, evocative with impressionistic textures. Accompanying the CD is a beautifully printed 6x9 inch booklet containing drawings and poems, also created by the composer's own hand, paired with each piano movement that illustrate the arc of the journey (a total of 9 drawings).

This synergic combination of music, poems and drawings constitute a unique and evocative expression of art. Early copies of the CD are autographed by the composer/artist.

The music, drawings and poems were composed in 1985, and released in 1986 on tape cassette. Now in 2008 the author has released the music for the first time in CD format, with the drawings more beautifully reproduced in booklet form than was possible in 1986.

Brief descriptions of the seven movements

1. Foothills.
Drone of the engine as we drive through the rolling hills, hearts full of anticipation.

2. In the Realm of the Mountain
Beholding the majesty of the mountains-- interludes of the life that lives amongst it.

3. Reflections from an Alpine Pool
A quiet piece beginning with sunrise, a walk around a placid pool, ending in the splash of a tossed rock.

4. Snowbound
Rhythmic cadence of cross-country skiing through the forest freshly shrouded in white.

5. Sequoia Cathedral
A long piece describing in erie tones the timeless giants with interludes of fire and storm.

6. River Borne of Mountain's Tears
A short exhuberant piece painting the cascade of water in spritely rythmic chords.

7. The Summit!
The joy of victory over (life's) challenges, combined with reflection over the journey just made, is celebrated.


-- Reviews --

Pianist Erskine really works the keyboard, calling on nearly every note lurking there for his portrait of the mountains he loves. His impressive technique raises this tape miles above the pretty city-piano of Windham Hill, scaling the heights with rope and pitons and no safety net. This is athletic edge-of-endurance music for solo grand piano from someone who obviously loves challenges.
- Electronic Musician/March 1987


Dear David, Thanks very much for the music. I played all of the first side of "Sierra Passage" on my show last night and received a favorable response. The telephone calls were very encouraging. I will be playing it often on the show. The composition and instrumentation are excellent and the mixing and production also are top quiality. Great program guide, very impressive. This dramatic music evokes a lot of imagery in the listerner. Some of the best original music I have heard in quite a while. In the future, if you could stay in contact with me about future releases and musical activities, I will be pleased to present your music to our listeners.
--Ben Kettlewell, 1987, producer WOMR-FM, Provincetown, MA


Dave, I love the Sierra Passage. I just opened it up, got it out of the mail, oh my gosh it's awesome! Bravo bravo bravo.... Congratulations on that beautiful body of work that you've done. Oh my gosh, that's just amazing, absolutely amazing.
-K. C.


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