Public Programs
Roots in the Sky *Performance rescheduled from July 6*
Performance of The End of Rain by Scott Ordway
Thursday, August 22, 2024
$15 (12 and above), $10 (under 12)
Roots in the Sky *Performance rescheduled from July 6*

Philip Juras, Night Fire on the Grand Prairie of Illinois c. 1491 (2019)


Roots in the Sky, Montana's premier chamber choir, and Tinworks Art join forces to present The End of Rain, a multimedia work by Scott Ordway for chamber orchestra, choir, and landscape photography that considers the way that climate change and wildfires are affecting our relationship to the landscapes we call home, with a libretto based on crowd-sourced input from 225 Californians who collectively contributed 80,000 words of first-hand stories of wildfire and drought.

About The End of Rain

The weather is strange now: The wind takes the place of the rain.

The seasons have changed. We must change.

The weather is strange. Things will grow back.

We must change now. Things will grow back.

We must create now. We must change.

We must let go now. things will grow back.

Fire and drought have become defining aspects of life in the western United States. How are these phenomena changing people internally, how are they reshaping communities, and how are they changing the way we look at the landscape? For eighteen months, composer Scott Ordway traveled widely in California in order to pose these questions to individuals and communities, and between December 2020 and June 2022, he collected 80,000 words of first hand witness accounts of fire and drought from 225 Californians in towns and cities throughout the state. He also took thousands of photographs and hundreds of minutes of video. Drawing on these raw materials, Ordway created the The End of Rain, a multimedia work for chamber orchestra, choir, and landscape photography.

Inspired by the work of journalists, filmmakers, documentary and fine art photographers, and social scientists, The End of Rain acts as a conduit for the voices and experiences of other people in order to understand how individuals and communities related to the landscape around them in this new era of continuous fires and the droughts that precipitate them, and attempts to reveal how fire and drought are changing us in personal and often hidden ways. The End of Rain is divided into three parts, each reflecting a predominant recurring theme in the crowd-sourced texts.


SCOTT ORDWAY Composer and multimedia artist Scott Ordway (b. 1984, California) is known for his groundbreaking mixed-media projects. His work has been praised by critics, described as “exquisite” (New York Times), “haunting and beautiful” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “a marvel” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Ordway blends music with text, video, digital soundscape, photography, and experimental theater to explore contemporary themes like ecology, architecture, protest, and urban life.

Recognized as “an American response to Sibelius” by The Boston Globe and noted for their “arresting originality” (Gramophone), his compositions have been featured by prominent orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Ordway is also an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Rutgers University, specializing in interdisciplinary collaboration.

ROOTS IN THE SKY Roots in the Sky is Montana’s leading chamber choir, celebrated for their thoughtful performances of choral works. They focus on compositions by living and marginalized voices, exploring 21st-century themes. Comprised of professionals from various fields, the choir collaborates widely and has performed across Montana at prestigious venues. In their recent 10th anniversary season, entitled PERMIT ME VOYAGE, Roots in the Sky performed in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Helena, and included a multimedia collaboration with Tinworks Art. More recently, they joined forces with Baroque Music Music Montana for a Holiday program that juxtaposed Baroque Advent Cantatas by Schütz, Buxtehude, and Bach with Kile Smith’s The Waking Sun, a contemporary cantata for choir and Baroque band based on choruses from plays by Seneca.