Red Flame






Flute and Marimba (5-Octave)

premiered by

Alexis Evers, flute; Florian Conzetti, marimba (Linfield Collaborative Music Ensemble)

commissioned by

Dr. Abigail Sperling and supported by the Oregon Arts Commission

Red Flame


Red Flame for Flute and Marimba (2021) was commissioned by Dr. Abigail Sperling with support from the Oregon Arts Commission. This piece draws inspiration from four Oregon bird species, notable for their vibrant red markings and precarious position on conservation watchlists: rufous hummingbird (selasphorus rufus), Anna’s hummingbird (calypte anna), dryocopus pileatus (pileated woodpecker), and ferruginous hawk (buteo regalis). In nature, bright colors often signal a warning to predators, however, these birds were chosen as a warning for humans, who must take meaningful action on climate change to protect ourselves and these beautiful animals.

– Andrea Reinkemeyer

Cover image: VJAnderson, Rufous Hummingbird, male, western Washington State (CC BY-SA 4.0, 22 May 2018)

The selasphorus rufus (red flame carrying) hummingbird is the most common species found in Oregon and calypte anna (Anna's hummingbird) is a common visitor to the feeders during the winter months. Their frequent visits to my family’s backyard in the spring and summer add vibrant flashes of color as they hunt insects and sip nectar from the fireweed we keep in our yard. The dryocopus pileatus (pileated woodpecker) is known for its bright red crest and repetitive tapping as they search dead trees for a tasty meal. Buteo regalis (ferruginous hawk) soars through the sky on motionless wings for long ranges in search of prey.