Fire Flowers - A tribute to the resilience of the human spirit

7:30 pm March 3rd, 2018 at St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church

Stephen Smith, piano
with Nancy DiNovo, violin
and Michael Jarrett, percussion

The title “Fire Flowers” refers to the wildflowers that appear on a forest floor the season following a forest fire. Where only devastation appears to be possible, something of beauty appears something for which the conditions of the burn – new nutrients in the soil, new access to light – make life and beauty possible. This concert features music that explores the remarkable ways in which people find hope in times of deep loss and challenge. Research tells us that resilience is not innate but learned through experience, built by support and empathy during challenging times of difficulty and loss. Some of the grief and recovery in these poems are around personal loss – things that may never be shared with another person. Others are about social change, non-violent protest, and righting wrongs.

We’re delighted to have guest artists violinist Nancy DiNovo and percussionist Michael Jarrett on marimba and doumbek join the choir and pianist Stephen Smith. And composer Carol Barnett is here from Minnesota for the world premiere of her work, My People are Rising.

It has been my great pleasure discovering the music that you will hear in “Fire Flowers” and weaving together a journey for performers and audience that contrasts the music and poetry, points to common threads of theme, and presents an arc that I hope you will find inspiring and hopeful. I’ve included some quotations, too, that are neither sung nor read in the concert but create connective tissue between the works.

Fire Flowers Program

Fire Flowers Listener’s Guide Feb 19

Performance Pieces:

  1. Fire Flowers (movement #3 from the suite Heart Songs of the White Wampum) Canadian Composition Timothy Corlis
  2. Nocturne Eric Tuan
  3. Dawn is not Distant, The Canadian Composition Christine Donkin
  4. Laulud Laulude Laulust (The Song of Song of Songs) Tõnu Kõrvits
  5. Seikilos Joanne Metcalf
  6. Sicut Lilium Inter Spinas Anonymous (possibly Eleanora (Leonora) d’Este (1515-1575))
  7. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child Traditional American Robert De Cormier (arr) 
  8. Lullaby Canadian Composition James Rolfe
  9. My People Are Rising Carol Barnett
  10. Starting Now Jocelyn Hagen
  11. Fire-Flowers (from the suite Fire-Flowers) Canadian Composition Don Macdonald
  12. Spring Shall Bloom Susan LaBarr

Canadian Composition Legend Canadian Composition