Christopher A. Kaminski

Christopher A. Kaminski
Composer, Clarinetist, Improviser
Water Elephant Music

Out of the Ashes (2018)     for bassoon choir and women's choir.    8.5 min.


Commissioned by Dr. Christopher Wickham, BACOUSTICS Bassoon Ensemble, Dr. Brandon Williams, and Voorhees Choir at Rutgers University

This is a piece about a fire meditation. Different kinds of meditations have different meanings and purposes, but the text and this piece were drawn out of my own experiences. My first fire meditation was out in the woods, with a bonfire in the middle of the night. A more common way to do this is with a candle. The text is from the viewpoint of someone leading the meditation (sometimes called a guided meditation). Fire is often seen as a force of destruction, but it could have positive uses, too. The goal of this meditation is for the fire to destroy the parts of you that are unwanted: parts of your personality that you would like to change, unhealthy habits, negative emotions, emotional baggage, etc. You emerge out of your own ashes, and come out a new person.


Text: (written by myself)

Close your eyes, breathe.
Inhale deeply, exhale slowly. 
Just breathe.
Release the tension in your neck, 
In your knees, in your shoulders,
In your hips, in your ankles. 
Listen to my voice. 

Feel the warmth of the fire on your skin. 
It burns away your doubt, 
Your fear, your negativity. 
The pain you feel is distant, 
The stress you feel is quieting,
Your thoughts melt away,
Everything is still,
Save the crackling of the fire.

Open your eyes. 
Gaze into the eternal flame
Bring the energy to you, 
Let the energy surround you. 
The Flame of Rebirth
Shall give you new life. 
Out of the ashes, 
You will be reborn.

Here's a preview of the score!