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Twitter portrays the sounds of birds that I heard in Western Park, Freemans Bay while running my dog. In this heightened reality you can hear a plethora of birds, ranging from small chirpy sparrows and mynahs to large more sonorous pigeons and magpies. Often the exuberant character of my dog slips in as well while he chases after birds. Throughout the piece I have used chromatic melodies and added note chords to depict the diverse pitches made by birds and syncopated rhythms to reflect the erratic nature of bird song.
The first movement has a bouncy feel to it. There is a reoccurring motif played by the soprano saxophone that is present much of the way throughout the movement. The added note chords and syncopated rhythms give off a jazzy vibe towards the end. I imagine the birds to be having a good time despite being teased by my Yorkshire terrier.
I have titled second movement the birds at dusk. The movement opens with birds twittering which is characterized by flutter tonguing and sustained notes. Out of this comes a languid melody played by the saxophone. As time progresses the melody is passed around the instruments and the supporting notes grow into chords. The movement ends as the birds roost.
An active and insistent character saturates the final movement. The birds are darting around in all directions fighting over crumbs left by school kids at lunchtime and my buoyant companion is never out of the action chasing after them as they take flight. The movement is dominated by florid runs by the entire ensemble and syncopated rhythms that provide an unsteady platform for the pandemonium.
Commissioned by the Ensemble Selisih with funding from Creative New Zealand
15 Jul 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 1
16 Jul 2009: Ensemble Selisih: 2
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