The Musical Mountaineers follow Leave No Trace philosophy as they backpack into wild spaces with a 45-pound piano, a violin, and formal clothes. They don’t announce their concerts, but record most of them for YouTube. Sometimes their audience consists of the trees and the hills and whatever other creatures live nearby. But sometimes a human or two will stumble by, pause, and even cry.
“People say it’s particularly emotional because they aren’t prepared for it,” said Anastasia Allison. “I love that—I live for moments that feel like an unpromised gift.”
Here’s Frederick Reimers, writing for Outside Online:
The point is to create a moment of pure art, small in scale in respect to the mountain settings, says Allison. “We want to make something beautiful and then disappear.” The Musical Mountaineers have performed some 40 concerts in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, and Allison estimates that fewer than 30 people have caught the concerts in person.
But they’re slowly gaining a following, thanks to an active YouTube channel where the duo posts videos of most performances. And Allison, a 38-year-old resident of Everett, Washington, is emerging as a quirky icon in the Pacific Northwest outdoor scene. The former park ranger and railroad law-enforcement officer now works as an adventure coach, a podcaster, and the purveyor of a singular piece of women’s backpacking gear (more on that later).
This post about the intangible values of music in nature belongs to the teal portion of the singing wilderness spiritual map.