JOHN LUTHER ADAMS (b.1953): songbirdsongs (Callithumpian Consort; Stephen Drury), Strange Birds Passing (New England Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble; John Heiss).
Catalogue Number: 05N070
Description: Apparently only finished in 2006 but dating to 1974-79 when the composer collected all these bird songs while working on a rural farm in Georgia, songbirdsongs is just that - bird songs performed by a pair of piccolos and a percussion ensemble. The songs are shared among all the instruments and a pair of ocarinas are added for the “Mourning Dove” movement. The performers are supplied with information about the mode and manner and order in which the various birds sing so that they have some element of choice about what to play, when and how - as long as it’s what the birds themselves are capable of. If you like Messiaen, you’re probably going to enjoy this.