Earth Door/Sky Door

for flute, piano, percussion and string quintet (2018)

Score and Parts

by Andrea Clearfield


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Perusal Score


Fred Child (NPR) talks with Andrea Clearfield, Music From Angel Fire's Composer in Residence on Performance Today.


c. 16 min


August 22, 2018, Angelfire, NM at Music from Angelfire Festival Emma Resmini, Flute
Ida Kavafian and Theodore Arm, Violins
Steven Tenenbom, Viola
Peter Wiley, Cello
Peter Lloyd, Double Bass
Anne-Marie McDermott, Piano
Gregory Zuber, Percussion
Jonathan Coopersmith, conductor


Music from Angel Fire with the support of the Bruce E. Howden, Jr. American Composers Project.


flute, piano, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass

Program Notes

Akin to the Native American Dreamcatcher, the Tibetan sago-namgo (translated as earth door/sky door) entices and captures negative energies
so that positive energies can pass through. It is used for blessing and protection – closing the doors to that which does not bring the highest good.

In this chamber work, I focused on the creative process: how some doors open, others close; how some ideas reveal possibility, others get left behind. It is an exploration of creativity and its mysteries as well as more generally about life – what doors have opened to manifest dreams, which ones have closed leading one to follow a new direction. Musical doors may open into sound or silence, movement, spaciousness or surprise. Some melodic passages are “caught” while others undergo development, leading to propulsive rhythms or textures and colors. A humorous section features many melodies striving to go through the doors at the same time, cut off by one of the instruments. Certain musical ideas function as “seeds” or foundations upon which the piece is built
however only one of the melodies will open the sky door at the conclusion of the work.

With much gratitude to the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming for providing invaluable time and space to complete this work.

–Andrea Clearfield