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Of Stars and Birds : for flute, clarinet, saxophone, and vibraphone

by Nardi Simpson (2020)

Selected products featuring this work — Display all products (4 more)

Of Stars and Birds


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Digital Audio Album

Of Stars and Birds / Nardi Simpson.

Version: This product features the Trios: Flute, clarinet, vibraphone version of this work

Display all products featuring this work (4 more)  

Work Overview

Of Stars and Birds was written after an invitation to contribute to Ensemble Offspring's birdsong collection. As a new composer in the earliest development stages of my craft, I worried how my work would stand alongside the pieces of experienced, accomplished composers who had already contributed to this series. As an Aboriginal musician with limited music theory, I also worried if I could create something of a standard suitable for the ensemble and its project partners. In times like this I look to culture to provide guidance. I quickly realised Yuwaalaraay knowledge, connection and relationship to birds equalled the complexity and detail of advanced musical theory, compositional practice and creative conception. So I worked hard to imbue this piece with the things I know well, cultural concepts and knowledge, enabling a transformation away from a commissioned composition and into an extension of my own lived and practiced cultural experience.

Of Stars and Birds developed then from a significant Yuwaalaraay story ending in the creation of the southern cross but traversing the enormity of land, lore, death and rebirth. Birds weave this story into our dreaming cosmos, the conventional limitations of earth, sky, death, day, life and night dissolving and creating its own universe of existence - a bit like my compositional craft, a mixture of traditions and teachings, an extension of the storytelling and song making of Australia's First Peoples and the explorations and expressions of a new composer at the beginning of an exciting musical journey. - Nardi Simpson

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet in Bb, soprano saxophone, vibraphone.

Commission note: Commissioned by Ngarra-Burria.

Performances of this work

7 Apr 2022: at CSO: Stargazers (National Museum of Australia). Featuring CSO Chamber Players.

5 Dec 2021: at Ensemble Offspring presents Composing Songlines (Sydney Opera House, Utzon Room). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

19 Jul 2021: at Australian Composition Day 2021 (Santa Sabina College).

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