A fortuitous meeting on an airplane in 1995 led to a successful musical collaboration between Paul Barnes and Philip Glass. Inspired by Glass' musical idiom and simplicity, Barnes
set to work preparing transcriptions from the composer's operas, resulting in the Trilogy Sonata and the Orphée Suite for Piano
After the 2003 critically acclaimed recording of the Orphée Suite for Piano
Orange Mountain Music
label, Glass and Barnes agreed that the next step in their professional relationship was the
commissioning of a new work for piano.
The approaching bicentennial commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition combined with Barnes' connections to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
as Professor of Piano resulted in the Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark).