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Andrea Clearfield

Andrea Clearfield

Andrea Clearfield is an award-winning composer of music for opera, orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. Her catalog of over 160 works includes fifteen large-scale cantatas including one for The Philadelphia Orchestra. She was appointed Composer-in-Residence with National Concerts at Carnegie Hall and with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She was awarded a 2021 Pew International Residency Award, two Independence Foundation Fellowships, a 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts and Fellowships at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, American Academy in Rome, Yaddo, Copland House and MacDowell among others. Dr. Clearfield served on the Composition Faculty at The University of the Arts from 1986 – 2011 and currently serves as Visiting Composer with numerous colleges and universities in the US and abroad. As a performer, she played keyboards with the Relâche Ensemble for 25 years and had the great honor of performing with the Court of the Dalai Lama. She sits on the Boards of the Recording Academy/Grammy’s Philadelphia Chapter and Wildflower Composers. Passionate about building community around the arts, she is also founder, curator and host of the renowned Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music now completing its 35th Year Season. She is represented by Black Tea Music. Learn more at

VOX Founding Artistic Director Dr. Iris S. Levine interviews composer Andrea Clearfield


Home in Me

Premiered at the 2022-2023 concert, No Place Like Home

SSA Work


Home in Me is inspired by beautiful, poignant poetry by Dr. Sienna Craig that she created specifically for this piece. The three parts explore “what is home” in body/place, speech, and heart/mind.


In 2008, Sienna and Andrea trekked to a remote region of the Nepalese Himalaya where Andrea researched and helped document Tibetan folk music. The experience led to an interest in migration, diaspora and questions about the nature of home. The first movement, “Body”, invites the
choir to both sing and play stones that they gather from places that they call home. The work moves through different musical spaces, harmonies and textures. It is essentially about cultivating home within ourselves. The second movement, “Speech” is about struggling to communicate and understand and breaking through that struggle. The third movement, “Heart-Mind” addresses our humanness, how both heart and mind must go hand in hand. Our heart-minds, although changeable, carry moments of continuity,
connection, and aliveness and one can perceive “waves of knowing, deeply felt”. The piece also offers the perspective that we are more than just individual beings, and points to the larger world space contained in us, and our humble place in the universe.

Home in Me

Lyrics from Movement 1: Body

When our bodies turn this wheel
Crack the vessel, learn what’s real
Leave an echo of the self
Moment to moment we touch, we dwell, (but still…)
When we yearn to feel awake
Creature of our boundless ache
Limb by limb we make the climb
Begin, begun this dance of time
Stones in our pockets
Wind in our hair
Wondering, wandering, welcomed, where?

When our bodies feel this burn
How do we reclaim, return?
Leave an imprint on the skin
Moment to moment, we touch, we shed….begin

How do we begin to belong? 
A future seeded in the past
This inner landscape, calm at last
We live the earth we cultivate
How does history resonate?

When our bodies turn this wheel
Crack the vessel, learn what’s real
Leave an echo of the self

Moment to moment, we touch, we feel, we molt, reveal, we shed, begin, again…

How do we begin to belong? How do we begin? Where do we begin? When do we begin?

Feel the pull of home (hands)
Hear the call of home (head)
Hold the still…of home (heart)

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