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Bird Songs


performance image Bird Songs - soprano (in a nest of percussion) (13')
Poetry by Rabindranath Tagore

Premiere: ModFest, Vassar College,
Poughkeepsie, NY (Jan, 2016)
Commissioned by Lucy Shelton

Videos of Bird Songs

Seven of Rabindranath Tagore's poems from Stray Birds are the texts for my Bird Songs, composed for Lucy Shelton. The "nest of percussion" is a collection of instruments I've either made or have gathered on my journeys (in true bird-like fashion).

  1. Silence will carry your voice like
    the nest that holds the sleeping birds.     (#155)

  2. The bird wishes it were a cloud.
    The cloud wishes it were a bird     (#35)

  3. Listen, my heart, to the whispers
    of the world with which it makes love to you     (#13)
        goview an exerpt from the score

  4. The cricket's chirp and the patter
    of rain come to me through the dark,
    like the rustle of dreams from my past youth.     (#198)

  5. Roots are the branches down in the earth.
    Branches are roots in the air.     (#103)
        goview an exerpt from the score

  6. The bird-song is the echo of the
    morning light back from the earth.     (#245)
        goview an exerpt from the score

  7. Light in my heart the evening star
    of rest and then let the night whisper
    to me of love.     (#274)

goview Special Instructions

(some of the ) Percussion Instruments:
instruments image

Complete setup (handbell opt.):
setup image

Images of Lucy Shelton performing Bird Songs:
Lucy Shelton image Lucy Shelton image Lucy Shelton image

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