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Where Song Began


Where Song Began

  • Date: Monday, 14 August 2023, 7.30pm
  • Venue: Adamstown Uniting Church — 228 Brunker Road, Adamstown, NSW
  • Series: This event is part of the Newcastle Music Festival 2023 series
  • Tickets: Adults: 49 | Children: 39 | Concession: 24 — Tickets can be purchased online

Event Details

“Where Song Began” is a musical and visual celebration of Australia’s birds and how they shaped the world. Inspired by leading ornithologist Tim Low’s award-winning book, this performance explores the Australian origins of songbirds, ‘the birds that can sing’. Such is their evolutionary significance, ‘one may ask whether human music would have reached the heights it has, had the first songbird not sung in an Australian rainforest.’ In this musical storytelling of the evolution of song, compositions old and new are interwoven with birdcalls and nature recordings made by some of Australia’s finest recording artists: Andrew Skeoch, Ann Jones and Sue Gould. There are improvisations from both voice and string, composed works from Australia, England, Germany and Estonia, and sounds both beautiful and bizarre. Many of the works on this album are in direct imitation of birdsong, while others are more suggestive of flight, habitat and the Australian landscape. Image credit: ABC Tiger Webb

Featured non-Australian music: ; Johann Heinrich SCHMELZER Cucu Sonata (1664); Johann Sebastian BACH Prelude from Suite No. 1 for Cello (c. 1720); Ralph VAUGHAN WILLAMS The Lark Ascending (Excerpt)

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website or by email to newcastlemusicfestival@gmail.com

Featured Australian Works

Anthochaera carunculata : (red wattlebird) (2017) by David John Lang
— performed by Bowerbird Collective
bird, songs, seas : violin and cello duo (2017) by Chris Williams
— performed by Bowerbird Collective
Ecstatic dances : for violin and violoncello (2014) [No. 2 only] by Ross Edwards
— performed by Bowerbird Collective
Reclaiming the spirit : a sonic tapestry for violinist & singing cellist with harmonic whirlies (2011) by Sarah Hopkins
— performed by Bowerbird Collective
 Hymn Dawn Chorus by Overtone Singing with Arvo Part’s Fratres (Excerpt, 1977)
 Improvisation on a Bowerbird’s Failed Courtship by Simone Slattery
 In the Night by Simone Slattery
 Ngarra Burra Ferra by Traditional Yorta Yorta

Featured artists

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