Birds calling on Waterfall Way : for piano
by Michael Hannan (2015)
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Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 40 [Not for loan]
Written while living for four months in Bellingen, a small town
400 km north of Sydney, this work is part of a series that uses
the melodies of bird calls heard in situ. The title refers to the
picturesque main road that runs from Raleigh (on the Pacific
Highway) through Bellingen, Dorrigo and Ebor, to Armidale.
On Waterfall Way I experienced many birds including yellow-tailed black cockatoos, galahs, whistling kites, various parrots, fig birds, various honeyeaters, little wattle birds, magpies and willy wagtails. But it was the pied butcherbird and magpie lark (peewee) calls that captured my attention and inspired this work.
Birds Calling on Waterfall Way is in three main sections. The first and last employ the haunting melodies of the pied butcherbird, a bird that has found its way into many of my piano works beginning with Resonances I (1987). The middle section explores the rhythmic variety of the calls of the magpie lark.
Typically this species constructs endless variations from three or four adjacent notes. As in many of my piano works, I give the instruction "sempre pedale", to enable maximum resonance from the instrument.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Gael and Pat Gray
- Inspired by: Birdsong
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