Picture from The Guardian
Continuing on with our countdown towards the June 25th kickoff of Off the Hook Arts’s SummerFest: MISSION EARTH, this week we sit down with OtHA Artistic Director and renowned composer Bruce Adolphe. One of Mr. Adolphe’s many contributions to this years festival includes his composition, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is. This twenty minute exploration of its titling quote by the late Dr. Piers Sellers accompanies Ms. Kate Doyle’s visual artwork Ouroboros as the pinnacle creative pieces inspiring this year’s festival. Its world premiere will take place on June 29th at the Curfman Gallery within CSU Lory Student Center.
“From this God’s-eye view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is. I’m hopeful for its future.” – Dr. Piers Sellers OBE
It was this quote, along with the picture associated with it that inspired Bruce to write this piece. It features a solo cello, performed by Sophie Shao, mezzo-soprano vocals as sung by Kady Evanyshyn, and various sounds of space and the human body. The vocals are largely instrumental in nature, giving the effect of a ‘duet’ between Ms. Evanyshyn’s voice and the cello. Accompanying sounds from space are meant to “provide a strange and unsettling atmosphere around the cello and singer,” and that of the human body, including human breathing and a beating heart are meant to accentuate the loneliness one feels in space. Mr. Adolphe’s greatest wish for this project is “to make the issue of space, climate change, our planet and our future a human issue not a political one…. after all, we all love life, (and) want humans and all nature to live and thrive.
Mr. Adolphe’s second performance will be the Colorado premiere of Out of the Air taking place on July 10th at the Carnegie Center of Creativity. Bruce will be accompanied by cellist Colin Carr, clarinetist Deborah Marshall, and pianist Marija Stroke as they perform Mr. Adolphe’s own Out of the Air, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3 in A major, and Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D major. The primary composition was built from several poems by Stanley Kunitz, including It is my heart that’s late, The underlying song, and When I was wild with love. The piece was meant to carry a message of what it is to look back towards one’s youth; “to opportunities seized and missed, to the sadness and comedy of life on earth. I wish Piers Sellers could have heard it.”
Mr. Adolphe does not hold back when explaining the unwavering priority climate issues hold over our society. “We must aggressively clean up our world, stop exploiting natural resources thoughtlessly, drastically curb all pollutants, and use our creativity and humanity to create a sustainable world.” That being said, he clearly feels optimistic about the effect of a collaboration between the arts, sciences and a humanitarian consciousness made possible by this program. “Only someone like Piers Sellers and the other astronauts who had a glimpse of our planet from space can fully feel the fragile reality of our planet’s place in the universe; but we all have imaginations and, through music, through imagery, art, and poetry, we can get to the emotional core that allows us to sense that reality.”
If you missed last week’s Off the Hook Arts: MISSION EARTH article, make sure to check it out here. For more information on Bruce Adolphe and his contributions to Off the Hook Arts and the world of chamber music, visit his director page here. Stay up to date with what is happening and when, so when June rolls around you’ll already know what events speak loudest to you.