Between The Notes:

Bending Chords - Recorded: 2002


This is a new feature, where we will gradually add dialogue
examining the thought & inspiration 'between the notes' of songs on

Bending Chords.

This page looks inside:

Storm King Sacrifice

On July 6, 1994, 14 firefighters, including Smoke Jumpers from Oregon, Idaho and other western states died when fierce winds fanned towering flames up Storm King Mountain (just west of Glenwood Springs, CO). They had been spending the better part of the day clearing brush and digging trenches to slow the spreading fires, when high winds forced them to run for cover. With nowhere to run, outpacing the fast moving flames was impossible on the steep slopes. Forced to take cover inside their protective shelters as the flames whipped over them, 14 never made it through the firestorm. For the full story & pictures - click here.

In September 1998, Van Devender sat at the piano in the music room of the school he just started teaching at. The window of his new room happened to have a perfect view of Storm King Mountain. Van Devender had witnessed the terrible tragedy in '94, not knowing until he got home that evening how awful it really was. "The smoke created a mushroom type cloud which glowed as it hung over the mountain," he remembered. "As we headed home, the walls of Glenwood Canyon revealed a reddish-orange color which was eerily quite beautiful." Upon turning on the TV however, the scope of the tragedy began to unfold as continuous news updates blanketed the airwaves reporting the passing of so many heroes.

As Van Devender sat in his new workplace, in the shadow of Storm King, the melody began to flow. He remembered the images he had witnessed, flames cresting over mountain ridges, glowing smoke hovering in the mid-day sunlight, emergency personnel working to restore order and, most of all, the brave souls who came from other parts of the country and sacrificed their lives while trying to save material possessions and the beautiful environment surrounding a resort community. "The powerful story just took over & before I knew it, everything was in place," he remembers.

Storm King Sacrifice turned out to be a descriptive piece from beginning to end. The listener can visualize the mountain sitting in all it's splendor, before being attacked by the flames. Suddenly, a stark progression of 14 chords climbs toward it's final ascent leading to an unmistakable, overwhelming silence. In the end, despite the best efforts of those who sacrificed so much, the mountain burned, then revealed it's own new life, reflecting nature's inevitable cycle.

Storm King Sacrifice can be heard at our FunEnDeR and SoundClick pages.

It is available for purchase at CDBaby, and Melodrift Productions.

Storm King Sacrifice is now available for download on iTunes. If you do not yet have iTunes on your computer, download it here. Available for Mac and PC!

Storm King Sacrifice at iTunes: Jeffrey van D ......iTunes player: Download iTunes

Since Sept. 11, 2003 proceeds from the sale of all JavaMusiK releases will be distributed to a firefighter memorial fund for one year. One hundred dollars has been contributed to the Memorial fund so far.

July 6, 2004 observed the 10 year anniversary of the Storm King Tragedy. Several publications featured JavaMusiK's involvement through Jeff Van Devender's composition:

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Feature story including JavaMusiK:

"Fallen Firefighters Strike Chord With Musicians"

Oskaloosa Herald
Cover story featuring JavaMusiK:
"Van Devender Remembers Fallen Firefighters"

Ottumwa Courier
Editorial story featuring JavaMusiK:
"Former Ottumwan (Oskaloosan) Commemorates Colorado Tragedy"

eMediaWire Press Release
"Tribute To Fallen Storm King Firefighters in Colorado Released"

eMediaWire Press Release
"Firefighter Tribute Tops Charts"

PRWeb Press Release
"Storm King Firefighters Piano Tribute Soars Back for 10 Year Remembrance"

The JavaMusiK BloG
Storm King Sacrifice
The JavaMusiK Perspective of The 10 Year Anniversary & Remembrance

"We Will Never Forget"

Scott Jeffries - JavaNews 2004

This page maintained and updated using the Webpage Creation Facilities of:
Scott Jeffries.

Original Design & Concept:
Daniel Madson.

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