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Little Feather on the Breath of God

Sheet Music: Score & Part(s)

A Little Feather on the Breath of God : for flute and piano / Anne Boyd.

by Anne Boyd (2013)

  • Sales Availability: This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
    Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.
  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Flute, piano.
  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Lamorna Nightingale, Jocelyn Fazzone from the CD Spirit of the plains


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Product details

Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century mystic, described herself as "but a feather on the breath of God" - a spiritual state with to which I aspire. For me, the traditional music for the shakuhachi represents the highest stage in music's spiritual evolution. Of all the music created by human kind, it also seems to bear the closest connection to the great beauty of the earth itself. Hildegard revered the Earth as a Mother - "The Earth is the Mother of All, for contained in her are the seeds of All".

The original version of this work was composed for shakuhachi and harp, dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Sir Peter Platt, Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Sydney until his death in August 2000. Peter was an esteemed and much loved colleague, an all round musician and scholar of enormous breadth and depth of outlook, one of Music's true saints.

In the shorter version for flute and piano, each instrument is assigned a narrative role: the flute line represents the floating feather; the piano represents God's creative spirit. At the beginning of the work the feather lies languishing on the earth, feeling herself but not knowing quite what to do. The piano's arpeggios, rising from deep in the earth, release energy that, like the wind, lifts the feather into flight.

The two enact a tiny moment of ecstatic playful dance before the feather flies free describing a joyful journey high in the air. Gently the feather descends back to the earth and a state of rest, ready to fly once more. The music is completely non-teleological - it represents a tiny moment in an eternal cycle and is essentially time for meditation and prayer.

Published by: University of York Music Press [M570368365] — 1 score

Duration: 4 min.

Please Note: This score is published in the UK and is a special order - it can take 8 weeks or more to arrive in Australia.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 9790570368365

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Spirit of the plains
CD: Spirit of the plains : Australian flute music 1997-2013 / Christine Draeger, Lamorna Nightingale, Jocelyn Edey Fazzone.

This work also exists as the following versions:
- Duos: Shakuhachi, harp


- Browse other works published by University of York Music Press

- Browse other works for Flute with piano

- Browse other works by Anne Boyd

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