The Woodswoman Project

Pianist Rose Chancler of the chamber ensemble Ricochet Duo has commissioned composer Hilary Tann to write a piece honoring the life and work of environmentalist, advocate, author, and friend Anne LaBastille, the “Woodswoman of the Adirondacks.”

As a celebration of Anne LaBastille’s life and work, The Woodswoman Project is to bring this commissioned musical composition to life as the centerpiece of a multimedia performance curated by New York State pianist Rose Chancler. The program revolves around three facets of Anne’s life:

    • Anne’s staunch conservation efforts
    • Anne’s first-hand Adirondack experiences and writings
    • Anne’s ground breaking and iconic efforts for women

Ricochet Duo is presently seeking venues and arts centers interested in hosting this multi-disciplinary concert presentation beginning August 2014. The presentation’s premiere is to take place at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in the heart of the Adirondacks in New York State at some point during the summer of 2014.


While the specific program is still under development, this multimedia offering will weave together contemporary music with video footage relating to Anne LaBastille’s legacy, narration of selections from Anne’s writings, and an exhibition of Adirondack photography. The title for the program is subject to change as “The Woodswoman Project” is currently a working title for all participants’ reference.

Music will be used as concert works, accompaniment for pre-recorded video interviews by people who knew Anne, and as accompaniment for a slide show by her friend and Adirondack photographer, Nathan Farb. Upstate New York videographer Paul Frederick, who has amassed the largest collection of Adirondack scenic footage in existence, will be consulting as the video portion is sorted and compiled for the program.

The musical centerpiece, Hilary Tann’s composition with a working-title of Solstice, is based on excerpts of Anne LaBastille’s writings from her autobiographical books. Dr. Tann has created poetry that dovetails into a three movement work:

    • Prelude to Spring (“break up”)
    • WHITE PINES (“among my closest friends”)
    • LILYPAD LAKE (“Sainte Terre – my holy land”)
    • KESTREL (“flying into the wind”)
    • Prelude to Winter (“freeze-up”)

Other musical selections that are currently under consideration to be performed by Ricochet Duo in this program are New York Capital Region composer Rain Worthingtons On Curious Reflection (2010), which was orginally written for Ricochet Duo, and a commissioned short work by Doug Opel. Additionally, pianist Rose Chancler and marimbist Jane Boxall will be selecting solo works appropriate for the program.


There are a variety of things a presenter considers when engaging an artist to share with their community. Here are some things to keep in mind when exploring The Woodswoman Project for your performing arts venue or arts center.

  • At the center of The Woodswoman Project is a musical program being performed by the Ricochet Duo, pianist Rose Chancler and marimbist Jane Boxall. Thus, an appropriate performance space or stage with a well-cared for concert piano will be required.
  • With each concert performance, the host presenter will be asked to provide lobby space or a room for an exhibit of works by Anne LaBastille and Adirondack photographer Nathan Farb and Community collaborations are welcomed and encouraged for this.
  • For each performance engagement, when possible, Ricochet Duo is interested in working with the presenter to do an arts-in-education program or outreach workshop or session. Ricochet Duo and The Woodswoman Project coordinator will work with the presenter to tailor, in some way, the session to be appropriate and meaningful to the specific audience. While not limited to, these outreach programs might include:
      • A composer talk
      • A post-performance talk with the performers
      • A conversation with photographer Nathan Farb
      • An arts-in-education program on music, nature, conservation, etc.
      • A conversation focused on Anne LaBastille’s efforts for women

If the music of Ricochet Duo, contemporary chamber music, the life and work of Anne LaBastille, or a culturally significant multi-disciplinary program is of any interest to your communities, please contact us to explore how we can work together to bring The Woodswoman Project to your audiences.