Score and parts on special sale from the Hire Library
1. Swainson’s Thrush
2. Hermit Thrush
3. Wood Thrush
This piece has an unusual origin. Years ago, in order to leave my home on the west coast of Canada to study composition in Europe, I raised money for my travel by selling as-yet unwritten bars of music to everyone I’d ever met. The result was a huge commission from over sixty friends, family, and community members. In 2011, with the help of the Quatuor Bozzini, I finally made good on my promise and created the piece Warblework.
Each of Warblework’s four movements is based on birdsong — of four thrushes in particular —Swainson’s thrush, hermit thrush, wood thrush, veery thrush, whose songs follow the harmonic series. When these birdsongs are slowed down, they reveal incredibly human-like melodies. These four movements therefore put forth something of a poem of the regional sounds from my home and its forests. While the thrushes move through the harmonic series, a tune in slow motion reveals melodies almost resembling folk and jazz vocality from another time.