Bird Year

Composition Date: 2006

Duration: 5'

Orchestration: SATB Choir

Information:

 

Bird Year was commissioned by Phoenix Singers of Shrewsbury, and first performed by the group in 2006. The text consists of four poems written by the composer, and suggests the continuity of life by representing each season with a particular bird.

 

 

Programme Note:

 

 

 

Bird Year

 

Sally Beamish 2006

 

for unaccompanied choir (SATB)

 

 

 

The four poems are my own, and suggest the continuity of life by representing each season with a particular bird. The music is characterised by raw intervals; 4ths, 5ths and semitones.

 

The work was commissioned by the Phoenix Singers of Shrewsbury, with financial assistance from the Arts Council of England, the Performning Rights Society, and Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council. It was first performed by the Phoenix Singers of Shrewsbury, directed by Richard White, on April 1st 2006, at St Chad’s, Shrewsbury.

 

Sally Beamish 2006

 

 

siskin

 

the season is hatched

green and gold

from its frozen shell

 

shoots push through

taut skin

 

it tests its wings

and the air is doused

with fresh notes

 

the season is hatched again

 

 

swallow

 

she swoops

across the height of the day

 

insects hover

pulsing the warmth

with soft droning

 

her split tail

curves and turns

as she

snatches them

 

 

wild geese

 

south-bound

they’re setting

a flaming trail

 

stirring up

 

a wind scattering

cocktail party chatter

and shaking the clothes

from the trees

 

barn owl

 

in freezing dark

a white shadow

hurtles earthwards

face flashing

a heart of snow

 

cries cut bitter air

 

starlight splinters

 

a sparkling death

 

Sally Beamish

 

 

 

 

Buy/Hire from Edition Peters

 

 

Available Recordings:

 

 (none available)

 

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