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ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH-KAMA-River of Stars:multi-movement work by Pamela Madsen for orchestra, choir, ensembles, electronics, video


ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH-KAMA-River of Stars is a multi-movement work by composer Pamela Madsen for orchestra, choir, ensembles, electronics and video created in collaboration with musicians Nicholas Isherwood, TwoSense: Ashley Bathgate, Lisa Moore, Brightwork New Music, pianists Amy Williams, Sarah Cahill, violinist Kate Stenberg, ModernMedieval, CSUF Symphony Orchestra, University Singers, and librettist/video artist Quintan Ana Wikswo.

With initial funding for Part I of this project:  There Will Come Soft Rains from National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Part II: ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH: KAMA-River of Stars was awarded NEA Project Award and  residencies for composer Pamela Madsen during 2019-2020: Women’s International Studies Center, Santa Fe, MacDowell Colony, Ucross, Wyoming, American Scandinavian Foundation Award:  Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. 

ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH=KAMA-River of Stars  reflects upon the need for Deep Listening in the wilderness, social justice and the global ecology of self-consciousness; resonance of the human body with the earth, and the rivers and stars that connect us. This work focuses on the sound and setting of spoken text, field recordings from the environment, combined with instruments, electronics, video and sung text. The work captures the sonic landscape of the wilderness of the desert southwest, inspired by the vast connecting river ways of the world, informed by research on the utopian visions of Hans Christian Andersen’s concept of science as Poetry’s California,  weaving a narrative of concern for human rights, social justice, women, nature and threat of imminent world destruction. Themes are manifested through texts by Rilke, Sarah Teasdale, and Quintan Ana Wikswo, concerning marginalization of indigenous cultures and desecration of women and nature correlated with concerns for the destruction of the environment. Pamela Madsen will complete full orchestra/ choral  work for premiere May 9, 2020 and chamber music  works for Brightwork newmusic and Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble for premiere in 2020-2021. 

ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH: KAMA-River of Stars (c. 50 minutes)for CSUF Symphony Orchestra, University Singers, ModernMedieval, Nicholas Isherwood, Bass-Baritone

To be premiered May 9, 2020

  1. I. Lost Horse Mine Lament 10′
  2. II. Center of Centers 8′
  3. III. Tenebrae-Now the Hour Bows Down for Nicholas Isherwood, bass baritone, electronics, video  Quintan Ana Wikswo,  premiered Feb. 19th, 2019. Orchestra/choral version  May 9, 2020.11′
  4. IV. Earth Horizon, Amy Williams, Sarah Cahill, Pamela Madsen, Eric Dries,  Kate Stenberg, February  23, 2019. CSUF NME, 11-14-2019.  Orchestra/Choral version May 9, 2020. 12′
  5. Grace Notes–for ModernMedieval Vocal Trio 

ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH: THE LAND OF JOURNEY’S ENDING: Brightwork NewMusic/Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble: violin, flute, clarinet, cello, piano, percussion, c. 50 minutes

To be premiered February 26, 2020 and February 2021

  1. I. Country of Lost Borders to be premiered February 26,  2020.    10′
  2. II. The Consecrating Mother  Two Sense: Ashley Bathgate, cello, Lisa Moore, piano, premiered February 21, 2019. Brightwork NewMusic Feb. 26, 2020.  11′
  3. III. Journey to the Land of the Moon, to be premiered, 2021 7′
  4. IV. Medicine Wheel, to be premiered, 2021 7′
  5. V. Coyote on Holy Mesa, to be premiered 2021 15′

Project Media

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Why Women Weep:IT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO REJOIN THE OCEAN by Pamela Madsen, composer
cello & electronics – Ashley Bathgate
recorded live at Meng Hall, CSUF, 2/22/17

With voice of Ashley Bathgate, and recorded text by Anais Nin, permission granted Anais Nin estate. From Multi-media Oratorio for the Earth: There Will Come Soft Rains newmusicusa.org/projects/there-will-come-soft-rains-2/

Luminosity: The Passions of Marie Curie-Pierre’s Dissertation on Crystals
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Luminosity: The Passions of Marie Curie, by Pamela Madsen, composer/electronics
performance by Nicholas Isherwood, bass-baritone and electronics for The Electric Voice World tour 2016
from Multi-Media Opera, premiered by Tony Arnold and Musicians from soundSCAPE-Pierre’s Dissertation on Crystals
Video by Quintan Ana Wikswo, from Marie Curie Archives in Paris, France.
Live performance premiere Meng Concert Hal, April 14, 2016
California State University, Fullerton

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Text, Poetry, Libretto, Photography, 35mm films & concept by QUINTAN ANA WIKSWO
filmed on location at WUPATKI, ARIZONA
text first published in HIGH DESERT JOURNAL (c) 2012
from There Will Come Soft Rains project
Live performance by Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Eclipse String Quartet, Vicki Ray, pianist. Members of LAPQ and Eclipse Quartet are members of the new commissioning ensemble Brightwork New Music, Los Angeles.

Start and End Dates



Laguna Beach, California

Project Created By

Laguna Beach, California
Pamela Madsen is a composer, sound artist, performer, and curator of new music. From her intimate chamber music creations focusing on image-music-text to her  electroacoustic mutli-media collaborations, collected archives of works by women in electroacoustic and organization of new music events she has created a body of work with a profound breadth of vision.  Her…

In Collaboration With

performer, cellist/spoken voice
New York City, New York
performer, bass-baritone, electronics
librettist, video artist, spoken voice
New York City, New York
performers, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, voice
Los Angeles, California
performer, pianist/spoken voice
New York, New York
performer, mezzo-soprano, Music Director ModernMedieval


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