Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.



for flute and piano

Year:  2002   ·  Duration:  5m

Year:  2002
Duration:  5m

Composer:   Michael Norris

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3

See details ➔


To borrow items or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at


Badb (pronounced 'badhv' where 'dh' is a voiced fricative, as in 'these') was one of a trio of war-goddesses from Irish legend. She assumed variously the guises of a beautiful woman, an old hag, and a carrion crow. Her manifestation in the latter form was an omen of death. Before a battle she would appear in anticipation of the carnage, and as the battle took place, would flit around the heads of the warriors. Afterwards, she would feed on the corpses strewn across the fields. Like the other two battle-furies, Macha and the M'rr'gan, Badb was both sinister and sexual; she prophesied the end of the world, the fall of the gods and an endless reign of chaos. There are three distinct types of material in this piece, portraying the three juxtaposed personalities of Badb: the sinuous, seductive syrensong of sing-flute representing the mysterious, beautiful femme fatale who befriended the Irish warrior C' Chulainn, then lured him to his death; the unearthly shrieks and battle-cries of the old hag, which were said to arouse fear and dread in the living; and the hideous crow, pecking at the flesh of the slain with bloodied maw. Much of the piano's harmonic structure is derived and interpolated from chords representing the crow in Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux, while the notes B, A and D feature prominently through the piece.

Commissioned note

for Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thomson with funding from Creative New Zealand

Dedication note

for Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thomson both legends in their own rights

Contents note

one movement

Performance history

07 Jul 2002: Performed by Bridget Douglas (flute, Rachel Thomson (piano); Great Hall, Arts Centre, Christchurch

15 Jul 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 1

20 Jul 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 3

02 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 4

03 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 5

07 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: Auckland

09 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: Hamilton

12 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: NZSM

18 Aug 2009: Ensemble Selisih: Christchurch

Performed by Bridget Douglas (flute) and Rachel Thomson (piano)

+ Read More