This is a work in progress...
The next piece is to be used as the backdrop for crossing the Great Salt Lake Desert. From the Wiki, we can read:
* August 30, 1846: The Donner Party reaches Redlum Spring, the last source of water before the dry drive begins, then sets out to cross the Great Salt Lake Desert.
* September 1, 1846 (?): On the third day in the desert, the water runs out. That night, the Reeds' thirsty oxen run off, never to be found; the Reeds take a few things and set out on foot.
* September 3, 1846 (?): The emigrants finish the five-day journey across the eighty-mile desert, which Hastings had said was half as wide. They have lost 36 head of cattle, half of them Reed's, and four wagons have to be abandoned. They spend the next week at the foot of Pilot Peak recuperating from their ordeal, hunting for cattle, and caching their possessions.
It was very dry out there, I'm sure. This piece is scored for bent piano wires of various dimensions and appearance, amplified by magnetic transducers and sampled; my contact microphone wooden dry percussion board; a few orchestral cymbals; and samples from Jay C. Batzner's Mancala Samples. They're the ones that sound like a rattlesnake of sorts. The tuning is based on the utonality, but the samples are so enharmonic as to render the tuning moot.