After the Forest Fire

After the Forest Fire

Year: 2005

Heading: for marimba, flute, and cello

First Performance:
2 August 2005
Vail Music Festival
Makoto Nakura, Marimba

Duration: 14'

...sensuous and singular. —San Diego Story

Program Note:
After the Forest Fire was commissioned by the marimba virtuoso, Makoto Nakura, and is scored for marimba, flute, and cello. As the piece opens, I invite the listener to imagine smoke rising from the charred remains of a very recent forest fire, with the lingering memories of life that was once there. The cello introduces the resigned, sad phrase. As this develops and becomes more animated, it is as if perimeter fires have re-ignited; the devastation refuses to quit. But finally, in a sunnier key, the last part of the piece brings a promise of renewal; sprouts of vegetation appear. By the ending, we understand that a cycle is restored, and the forest begins its regrowth. Nature has its own way of healing itself.