New Sacajawea’s Story Opera Scene Premiered by West Edge Opera!

On March 2-3, 2024 West Edge Opera featured a new scene from Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story entitled “Bee’ah-pah,” depicting the January, 1806 journey to see a “monstrous fish” or beached whale at present day Ecola, Oregon. The scene at Bee’ah-pah (Great Water), depicts a historic episode when Sacajawea traveled to the Pacific Ocean – the first Shoshone woman to [...]

Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story Premiere, Reviews, Press!

“The story of Sacajawea glowed in a new, Indigenous-centered Opera Theater Oregon production.” ~ James Bash, Oregon Arts Watch     “Ralls created lovely soundscapes that combined the Native flutes with a chamber orchestra, consisting of strings, flutes, bass clarinet, horn, piano, and percussion. His music shifted organically – from languid to joyful to tense [...]

New Work Celebrates 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted

Olmsted 200: Theme and Variations is a new work for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Vibraphone to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. will be premiered on March 26, 2022 by Juventas New Music Ensemble at Boston’s Multicultural Arts Center with future performances planned by American Wild Ensemble and Michigan Technical [...]

Nu-Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story

NOVEMBER 4, 2021 – OPERA THEATER OREGON is excited to announce a new intercultural collaboration with Aqai-Dika/Lemhi-Shoshone culture bearer and descendant of Sacajawea, Rose Ann Abrahamson.  Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story will reimagine the extraordinary Shoshone woman who was a crucial member of the historic 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition, from her Aqai-Dika Indigenous perspective in a new opera-theater [...]


Upon viewing ‘Bacchus’ I instantly connected to the story of a young woman caught in the conforming routines of everyday modern life, who then finds liberation, vitality and indulgence through the mythical, archetypal dream-character of Bacchus. The expressionist and surreal style of ‘Bacchus’ explicitly evokes the jazz-age art of the late 1920s and 1930s, reminiscent of [...]


Ecomusicollapsology is my own original neologism to describe the synthesis of ecomusicology and collapsology, an area of research which engages the intersection of music, culture, and nature, in the context of the collapse of ecological systems and/or the collapse of complex societies. Ecomusicology, or ecocritical musicology, is the study of music, culture, and nature in [...]

Song of the Most Beautiful Bird of the Forest

Above: 2020 painting, “The Burden of Forever,” inspired by the themes and story of SMBBF. Photo courtesy of John Teply and the Elisabeth Jones Art Center for Ecology and Social Justice. Below are the prefatory pages to my Ph.D. dissertation, “Song of the Most Beautiful Bird of the Forest, an Eco-fairytale Opera in three Acts.”  CHAPTER I [...]

Westworld Scoring Competition

The following post briefly explains inspiration behind my cue composed for Spitfire Audio and HBO’s Westworld Scoring Competition. Special thanks to Spitfire Audio and the creative team of Westworld for sponsoring this amazing opportunity, this project was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a competition piece!  Composers were given the full four minute cue [...]

Why Green New Deal Must Include Arts and Music Programs

The Green New Deal resounds a political and systemic response to the twin crisis of climate change and inequality. With both the climate and economic crisis, governments have prioritized the interests of those who caused the problem, despite the consequences for working people.[1] To save the biosphere and the economy for working Americans, we must have [...]

Of Wolves and Rivers

Originally published on Landscape Music Composers Network September 6, 2016 I am honored to be a part of Landscape Music’s upcoming concert with Cadillac Moon Ensemble at the Parrish Art Museum in The Hamptons, NY on September 9, 2016, celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service and our common natural heritage. In creating a piece [...]