Written for the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Upon Mystic Places is based loosely on a poem by Stephen Crane. The piece is a concertino for horn and slightly expanded sinfonietta ensemble, in which the solo horn acts as a complex character moving through a dark and fantastic world, interacting with other characters equally strange. In this sense, the poem served merely as an inspiration for the musical events. The horn engages with a few other solo instruments throughout the course of the piece, including flute, piano, trumpet and (toward the end) cello. Each of these solos has its own set of pitches and mode of playing that defines it. The flute, for example, plays often with wild arpeggios; the piano is an imitator, echoing at times the mannerisms of others. The horn itself is brash, proud and defiant, yet vulnerable. At the end, in his duet with the cello, he admits defeat and fades out into the same pitch with which he began.