FIRE/LAND: Knowing the Territory is a musical and visual collage and an art rock opera for the forest. Composed from historical fact and fiction and artistic exploration of forest and wildfire--from love and respect for nature, to negligence and loss, trauma and recovery, courage and wisdom.
Creating this piece has been my journey during 2022-23 to learn about the origins of U.S. forest management and fire suppression policies since the 1910’s until today, as wildfires have increased in size, intensity, and frequency due to dense and dying woodlands, drought, and climate change.
The work is an elegy for the losses suffered by our local community, and landscape from the 2021 Caldor Fire. This performance work offers hope for reviving Native practices of tending the land, and (re)learning skills to integrate fire into land management. It is a call to recognize our shared responsibility to care for the land now and in future.
The piece was performed live at American River Conservancy's historic Wakamatsu Farm, Placerville, CA on June 10 2023.