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Daybreak (flute with live electronics)

by Tristan Coelho (2018)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Lamorna Nightingale from the CD Other Voices

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Other Voices


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Other Voices : Music for flute and electronics / Lamorna Nightingale.

Library shelf no. CD 3055 [Available for loan]



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Daybreak : for flute and electronics / Tristan Coelho.

Library shelf no. 788.32/COE 1 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Australia has rich and diverse birdlife including a wide variety of songbirds including the lyrebird, satin bowerbird, magpie and pied butcherbird. In addition to singing their own songs, such birds display the ability to perform highly sophisticated and seemingly organised fragments of other species' tunes which are often transformed in unique ways.

This piece, Daybreak, for flute and electronics is based on this idea of birdsong mimicry and weaves in experiences I've had exploring and appreciating the sounds of nature. Transcribed birdsong is weaved into the piece as well as additional song-like musical ideas inspired directly from the lines conjured up by birds. The electronics takes snapshots of the live flute sounds and manipulates them in real-time to create an evolving and immersive sound world. What emerges is a dialogue between the flute and electronics as the sounds work in imitation and swirl around the listener; the parts effectively mimicking each other. The music begins with a sense of peace and quiet focusing on a spaciousness of sound with occasional soft utterances. This gradually gives rise to joyous, dance-like sections evoking the busy dawn chorus.

I intend the work to be accessible for high school and undergraduate-level flautists but also suitable for professional performers. Through this work, I hope to create an interest in our natural world, encouraging young students to listen deeply to the sounds around them and continue developing a respect for our precious wildlife.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Flute, electronics.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Dedication note: Dedicated to Lamorna Nightingale

Commission note: Created with the support of the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund

First performance: by Lamorna Nightingale — 31 Jul 18. Birdsong at Dusk, Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School, Sydney




Performances of this work

6 Feb 2021: at Avant Gardens 1: Ave (Private home in Ashfield, NSW). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

16 Aug 2019: at Birdsong at Dusk (Wollongong Town Hall). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

31 Jul 18: Birdsong at Dusk, Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School, Sydney. Featuring Lamorna Nightingale.

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