13 ways of looking at a butcherbird : for piano
by Michael Hannan (2005)
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Library shelf no. 786.2/HAN 17 [Not for loan]
13 Way of Looking at a Butcherbird consists of 13 short
movements each based melodically on transcribed butcherbird
calls. Three of these were transcribed from commercially
available recordings of the pied butcherbird but the others are
from field recordings made by me in various locations including
Brisbane, Byron Bay, Clunes, Lismore, Nimbin and Bellingen. The
approach to the harmonic accompaniments to these
movements varies according to the intervallic implications of the tunes: some are dissonant while others use pentatonic or other recognisable scales. For example a pied butcherbird bird heard pre-dawn at Clunes (Movement V) employs the whole-tone scale and inspired a simple parallel chord accompaniment in the same scale.
The title is a reference to the Wallace Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird" (1917), which has inspired many musical compositions including a song setting by the Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks.
Resonate article: A lifetime of engagement with Australian music by Michael Hannan
- Inspired by: Birdsong
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