Controlled Burn (World Premiere – Commissioned by the OM)

Cris Derksen

While raging forest fires made headlines all summer and will likely increase in the coming years due to climate change, Cree composer Cris Derksen’s work is about controlled burns, a traditional Indigenous practice used to manage wildfires.  This practice involves burning certain parts of the forest in the spring, before temperatures rise and while the ground is still wet, to keep flames from burning out of control. Indigenous peoples determine where to intervene based on centuries of observation. By clearing out the twigs, dead trees and pine needles covering the forest floor, they protect their land and help preserve the ecosystem.  As a result, flames are transformed from threat to tool—two aspects of fire that Cris Derksen explores in her work.   

Suggested Gallimard readings to enhance your experience:

Chauffer le dehors, Marie-Andrée Gill, La Peuplade
Chemin d'en-haut, J.-P Chabot, Le Quartanier