Performance Today®

with host Fred Child

Stephen Lias: Cross-country composer

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Stephen Lias Courtesy of the artist

Stephen Lias has spent the better part of the last decade visiting and writing music about National Parks. He wasn't bitten by the outdoors bug until his 30s, but he's making up for lost time. Migrating with caribou, river rafting and casual encounters with bears can all be counted as "part of the job" for this American composer.

He recently joined us to share some of his music and experiences from the most majestic landscapes in the country. And since he's been so intimately involved with these great spaces, who better to ask for suggestions on where to visit?

First off, a beginner trip. If you're yearning to get outdoors, but don't know where to start or maybe feel a little intimidated, Stephen has a few recommendations that combine art and nature.

Okay, so you're ready to spend a little more time communing with our National Parks. Here are a couple of Stephen's recommendations for day hikes.

And for the really adventurous, the one place Stephen says we should go happens to also be the largest National Park in the NPS system in Wrangell, AK.

Usually when he writes a piece of music about a park, Stephen Lias has spent, at least, a week or two immersing himself in the nature. When it came time to write about Yosemite National Park, there was a twist.

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Stephen Lias Courtesy of the artist
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Weir House at Weir Farm Xiomaro
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Glacier National Park, Montana NPS Photo / Tim Rains
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Denali National Park, Alaska NPS Photo by Kent Miller