Unraveling the deeper message of The Firebird: Dr. Salvosa’s interpretation through music


Dr. Ross Salvosa playing piano. Photo by Mykah Koke-Filimaua

Mykah Koke-Filimaua, Staff Reporter

Dr. Ross Salvosa, a lecturer of piano/piano pedagogy at CWU, uses the transcription of the firebird, the chosen mascot from Russian folklore that symbolizes rebirth, beauty, and magic, to inspire people to begin their self-discovery journey.  

“I believe that each one of us have a basement in our spirit where we’ve locked a lot of parts of us from our very young years and now that those parts of us have grown, they’re going to be hungry, angry, lonely and if you open those doors up,” Salvosa said.

Salvosa’s journey of looking inward began during the pandemic, specifically during the George Floyd incident. Feeling overwhelmed with anger, instead of lashing out, Salvosa looked at where these emotions were coming from, according to Salovsa.

“It’s that journey of just opening those doors up and listening to all the cries and just sitting with it, learning to understand it, learning to love it so that they’re not alone,” Salvosa said. 

Salvosa said the importance of spiritual journeys is bravery and confronting yourself even if it seems uncomfortable at first. 

“I know it took me to a beautiful place,” Salovsa said.

“I’m half Filipino, and for me, it was like a huge awakening of this whole music side of my culture that I never knew about,” First year music education and performance major Cheyenne Brady said. “I didn’t even know it was a part of me until today.”

First year music major David Badillio said one of the themes they liked was about putting yourself out there and facing your fears.

Salvosa said the message was about looking inward and opening up your subconscious basement doors and to sit with it.

“Learn about it and understand it so that we can truly discover ourselves and become more compassionate, more loving and more kind human beings,” Salovsa said.