High Desert Acoustic Duo: Extreme Musicians

Sponsored Story by Luis and Clark

I am a professional cellist and teacher near Taos, NM at the Colorado border. My musical travels take me from freezing high-altitude places to hot deserts. I have been playing my L&C cello for years; it is one of the first cellos they made (#95)! Over the years it has been a valuable asset… The durability of this cello has paid for itself several times over in what it has saved me on repairs (especially when the nearest repair shop is three hours away!)

Several years back, I got stuck up to the windshield on my Jeep in a snowdrift and hiked the last few miles home through a blizzard, towing the cello upside-down in its case like a sled. This story is featured on L&C’s “Crazy!” page on their website. I thought, “If the cello can withstand that, why not try it on purpose?”, and the idea for the Spruce Hole Yurt Session was born!

On April 20th, 2016, I set out on what may be the first ever ski-in cello recording session with my good friend and music partner Justin Dean (we are also known as High Desert Acoustic Duo). Our destination: the Spruce Hole Yurt, located 10,500′ above sea level on La Manga Pass, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, miles in from the trailhead and accessible only by skis/snowshoes. Even in late April, there was a 5′ snowpack!


Justin towed a modified sled with all his gear, while I towed the cello in a case mounted on a makeshift kiddie sled. I fashioned a tow pole from PVC pipe to keep the cello from passing me on the downhill stretches…

We spent 24 hours at the Yurt, recording during most of the waking hours, to produce a CD of backcountry cello, fiddle and guitar music called the Spruce Hole Yurt Session!

We had so much fun recording “backcountry strings” that we are already discussing the possibility of “whitewater strings”, recorded on a river rafting trip!

Spruce Hole Yurt Sessions CD (and other recordings by High Desert Acoustic Duo) available @CDbaby or by emailing twistedcello@yahoo.com. – Mark Dudrow, cellist (www.markdudrow.com)


Learn more about Luis and Clark: https://luisandclark.com/