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Grey Ghost : for piano and electronics (Music for Tiny Speakers No. 2)

by Miriama Young (2017)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

The Grey Ghost is a meditation in piano and electronics drawing on the ancient song of the once prolific North Island Kōkako. The bird's distinctive call closely resembles that of its possibly extinct South Island cousin, known as 'The Grey Ghost', last officially recorded at Mount Aspiring National Park, 1967. Renewed efforts are currently in place to confirm the presence or extinction of this species (see SouthIslandKokako.org for more information).

Using your smartphone, the electronic part for this piece can be streamed by the audience during the concert performance. Once downloaded, follow the downbeat of the Pianist to press 'play'. Download and playback during the concert are entirely voluntary.

Recordings of North Island Kōkako were supplied by the New Zealand Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai. Other bird sounds recorded by the Composer. Thank you to Chamber Music New Zealand, and The University of Melbourne Faculty of Fine Arts & Music for supporting this project. Also, delighted thanks to Jessie Eastwood for recorded vocals.

"We all had Apps on our phones, and [the pianist] gave us an upbeat to play. Because people were scattered through the audience and there were slight differences in the timing, when you pressed play, all of a sudden.... You were in the Cathedral of the bush, with these dreamlike bird sounds.... It made you really, really listen. It was so clever.... I really loved it." - Fiona McCabe for Radio New Zealand, reviewing Xenia Pestova's Wellington performance (2017).

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Piano (optional vocal part in piano). Together with loudspeaker playback, audience can use smartphones to perform the fixed media soundtrack.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Piano part is of medium-difficulty level, suitable for advanced students or professionals.

Commission note: Commissioned by Xenia Pestova.

First performance: by Xenia Pestova — 16 Jul 17. Chamber Music NZ tour, James Cumming Wing

The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc. associated this work:
Minimalist, electronics, birdsong, new technologies, app. Influences: Radiohead, Moroccan vocal music, Tristan Perich, Ligeti Piano Etudes, Liszt.


Performances of this work

31 Mar 2018: at Piano Day (Union Chapel (Islington)).

6 Aug 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, Warkworth Town Hall, Warkworth, New Zealand. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

4 Aug 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, Concert Chamber, Rotorua. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

30 Jul 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, St Andrew's, The Terrace, Wellington. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

23 Jul 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, Graham Young Youth Theatre, Tauranga NZ. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

22 Jul 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, St George & St John, Whakatane. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

16 Jul 17: Chamber Music NZ tour, James Cumming Wing. Featuring Xenia Pestova.

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