Robin Pressman taking a summertime kayak trip with her dog Stella

KUSC is here to help you get the most out of your Classical California Summer. So we asked our hosts to recommend music for some iconic California summer experiences. Robin Pressman wants you to grab your hat and sunscreen, pack snacks, plenty of water (and your favorite puppy!), and head to the coast. We’re going Kayaking!

L. Peter Deutch: Ocean Air: Morning

Let’s begin paddling around the craggy cliffs and coves of Northern California’s shoreline as we head to the mouth of the Russian River. Our journey begins with this piece from Sonoma County composer L. Peter Deutch.

Shubert: Trout Quintet

Not long ago on a three-day kayak trip on the Russian River, Shubert’s Trout Quintet was my soundtrack as I paddled eye-level with Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets, as baby steelhead trout swam alongside, and river otters slipped and slid over the rocks.

William Grant Still: Wood Notes: Singing River

We’re picking up steam and we follow the current gliding and paddling to this music by William Grant Still based on a poem about the Coosa River.

Mark O’Connor: Appalachia Waltz

OK, we’ve been paddling hard for a while. Let’s take a break, have a snack, and let the current carry us for a while. It’s a dreamy afternoon on the water described beautifully by Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz. He’s the fiddler, joined by Yo-Yo Ma and bassist, Edgar Meyer.

Michael Torke – Sky

One of the greatest things about spending an entire day out on the river is to let your eyes drink in the magnificent expanse of blue sky above. Michael Torke captures that joyous experience in Sky written last year. The three movements are I. Lively II. Wistful III. Spirited.

Mendelssohn A Midsummer night’s Dream Overture

It’s been a long day on the river. There’s a full moon tonight. We’ll pitch a tent, get back on the water before dawn and head out to the ocean in time to see the full moon set into the ocean while the sun rises over the hills. That’s a true Midsummer Night’s dream.