Twenty Seven Birds









for soprano, alto, piano four hands and optional digital acoustic

I have just completed a new work for the vocal duo  Charlotte and Josefien Stoppelenburg  who  perform with Dutch piano duo and brothers, Martijn and Stefan Blaak.  The members of this award-winning ensemble Brothers and Sisters have performed in almost every Dutch concert hall and will perform in several places in the United States/  this month. Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano, lives in Evanston and has recently won  the 2nd place nationally at the American Prize Opera Competition.


The piece can be performed for voices and piano along or with a digital acoustic soundscape.  The stereo wave file was crafted from the recordings of 27 birds that are found in the driftless region of southern Wisconsin where my studio is located.  The live performance will feature a sound system and stereo speakers placed behind the audience.


Here is an midi audio demo from the score:

View the score:

27 Birds Soprano, Alto Piano Four Hands Proof

Here is a midi audio demo of a version for soprano, piano and digital acoustics

View the score:

27 Birds for soprano, piano and DA Score


The piece begins with a text that is derived from the phonetic works used to approximate the sound of the various bird calls, transitions to excerpts from  some of the most beautiful poetry about birds and ends with the phonetic imitation of the call of loons.

Text from poems by Keats, Chaucer, and Longfellow

Shed not tear-O, shed not tear!
The Flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! O! weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
Dry your eyes! O! dry your eyes, For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies-
Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!
‘Mong the blossoms white and red-
Look up, look up.
I flutter now
On this flush pomegranate bough.
See me! ’tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man’s ill.

Adieu, adieu-I fly, adieu,

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
On every bough the birds heard I sing,
With voice of angels in their harmony;
I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,


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