Forrest Pierce

Forrest Pierce

Forrest David Pierce, composer and sniffer of flowers, is fond of the way a woman's nose changes color when she sniffs flowers, too. One woman in particular. Rhododendrons from his home state of Washington color her face shy pink, Indiana tulip trees make for hot white cheeks when viewed by doctoral composers. Young assistant professors see Texas prickly pear flash her eyes electric yellow. Not-as-young assistant professors who now live in Oregon wait for the cherry trees, which make our beloved's lips the color of fruit, the kind with free stones. And the shape of what her dress dresses, and sweet sleep of air moved by music that brings an end to pain: you can see this, as well. Whenthe stone comes free, you find at last that you have a little boy named Aidan, more music than a heart can handle, and several friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

NOTES for Spring Sonata
Program notes by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Come, my Corinna, come ; and, coming, mark/ How each field turns a
street, each street a park/Made green and trimm'd with trees : see
how/Devotion gives each house a bough/Or branch : each porch, each door
ere this/An ark, a tabernacle is,/Made up of white-thorn neatly
interwove ;/As if here were those cooler shades of love./Can such
delights be in the street/And open fields and we not see't ?/Come,
we'll abroad ; and let's obey/The proclamation made for May :/And sin
no more, as we have done, by staying;/But, my Corinna, come, let's go

I. Cherry

Cherrie-Ripe, Ripe, Ripe, I cry,/Full and faire ones; come and buy:/if
so be, you ask me where/They doe grow? I answer, There,/my Julia's lips
doe smile;/There's the Land, or Cherry-Ile:/Whose Plantations fully
show/All the yeere, where Cherries grow.

II. Solace

Thou sweetly canst convert the same/From a consuming fire/Into a
gentle-licking flame,/And make it thus expire./Then make me weep/My
pains asleep ;
And give me such reposes/That I, poor I,/May think thereby/I live and
die/'Mongst roses.

III. Sundress

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,/Then, then, methinks, how sweetly
flows/The liquefaction of her clothes!//Next, when I cast mine eyes and
see/That brave vibration each way free,/?O how that glittering taketh

NOTES for Fenris
If Odin was possessed by visions of the future, of his own death at
Ragnarok, then it stands to reason his enemy Fenris Wolf was similarly
plagued. As the great beast languished in the dank cave where the gods
had imprisoned him, perhaps he too dreamed of the Twilight of the Gods.
Fenris dreams of the hunt, and the smell of Aesir blood in his
nostrils. He dreams of the dark elves forging the magical ribbon
Gleipnir from six mystical elements, and of his offspring Skoll
swallowing the sun whole. He dreams of Odin, advancing on his
eight-legged steed, spear in hand, and of the delicious crunch of the
father-god?s bones between his forty-foot fangs. - Forrest Pierce

Back to The Return of Are You Brave ? Festival 2001

This Bio was for the Are You Brave Too? Festival
Forrest David Pierce has not yet drowned. This is certainly not due to an aversion to water, since he bathes frequently, and is known for spending hours upon end sitting in small mountain streams in the state of Idaho. Up to his neck in cold silver water, hot rocks all around, he has spent a great deal of time reflecting on his musical life at the University of Puget Sound, the University of Minnesota, and Indiana University. More recently he has taught on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where deep water is scarce, and cold water unheard of. Pierce suspects that Dominick Argento, Don Freund, and Judith Lang Zaimont might also like Jeru Creek on a blistering summer day, with the red cedar waving honey-green needles far above, and the white of alpine glaciers distant against purple-blue skies. Sadly, one thing these fine composers all have in common is an unfamiliarity with the wonders of the Idaho Rockies and their snowfed streams. They have all, however, been teachers of the gently irreverent Forrest Pierce, which may or may not make up for it. Forrest Pierce wishes to express his gratitude to the musicians of Brave New Works.

Back to Are You Brave Too ? Festival 2000

This Bio was for the Duo concert in February, 2000
Forrest David Pierce composer and angler of little blue streams, has been haunted lately by the fifty-meter lilac hedge that bounded his childhood home in Pullman, Washington. Late spring lilacs have regularly harried his studies in Tacoma, Minneapolis, and Bloomington, Indiana since he left home ten years ago. His alternately lyrical, irreverent, sinister, and elegant voice has traveled as well: at each stop a new dialect; in each piece the same sweet hankering. He likewise remembers Dominick Argento, Judith Zaimont, and Don Freund, although more for their teaching than for their flowers or perfume. Though a pianist and cellist in his youth, he has been captivated by the human voice, leading to twelve song cycles, an opera, and 15 works for chorus in the past five years. It may be that spring in Austin, where he now teaches at the University of Texas, will bring no lilacs, since bluebells and cacti dominate the browner, hotter landscape. Like the sea-run cutthroat he chases each northwest June, however, Forrest Pierce hopes to return home.

Back to Duo concert page

Back to welcome page