"Transformed by Fire" A Musical/Poetic Collaboration with Andrea Clearfield and Ariana Kramer
In 2017, Ariana Kramer and composer Andrea Clearfield were awarded an Aldo & Estella Leopold Writers Residency through the Leopold Writing Program. The residency was held at the Leopold's "Mi Casita" cabin in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, which is now owned by the U.S. Forest Service. As their collaborative project, Ariana wrote a poetic text, and Andrea set an excerpt of the text to music for baritone, piano and choral accents. "Transformed by Fire" explores Aldo Leopold's changing perception of wolves and the necessary role they play in our ecosystems.
An excerpt of "Transformed by Fire" was presented at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico in August 2017 with baritone Mark Jackson, pianist Andrea Clearfield and members of the Taos Community Chorus. An encore performance was offered in September 2017 in response to audience request. An excerpt of "Transformed by Fire" was also presented by Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) in April 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos as part of National Poetry Month events.
UPDATE: At a Summer 2019 Creative Residency at Bloedel Reserve, Andrea was able to begin composing two additional sections of the "Transformed by Fire" poem. The generosity of two Taos residents and SOMOS (as fiscal sponsor) have made it possible for Andrea to continue working on "Transformed by Fire." In 2020, Andrea will be composing/arranging the first nine sections of Ariana's poem to create a "Transformed by Fire Suite" for baritone and soprano soloists, SATB chorus and piano. The Taos Community Chorus will premiere the Suite. Stay tuned for more details.
Listen here to composer Andrea Clearfield discuss the musical motifs of "Transformed by Fire." Thank you to Cultural Energy for this live recording of Andrea's comments on September 6, 2017.
Photo by Sanny Leviste
As part of her slideshow which gives background on the research process that informed "Transformed by Fire," Ariana Kramer shows a photograph of Aldo Leopold (courtesy The Aldo Leopold Archives) and reads from his essay on Draba verna which inspired "Spark."