New Music Biennial: Urban Birds by Arlene Sierra

Fri 22 April 2022

Arlene Sierra is a composer of critically-acclaimed orchestral and chamber music whose compositional beginnings were in the electroacoustic field. Urban Birds is a return to Sierra's musical roots, and brings together three international soloists who specialise in new music for piano plus electronics. Urban Birds combines harmony, rhythmic drive, and sounds from nature in a tapestry of environmental sound and virtuosic performance. The work engages musically with one of the central preoccupations of our time: Our relationship with the natural world.

The piece employs recordings of birds that range in the UK and specifically Wales: the Blackcap, the Skylark and the Cuckoo. The recordings are part of the musical texture, with samples functioning as integral musical elements in the evolving structure of the work. The three pianists play material that imitates and answers the birdsong, and they have specific roles as well: One soloist doubles on percussion, one plays the strings inside the piano, while another part interacts with a recorded Yamaha Disklavier piano.

Image credit Ian Phillips McLaren.

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The bar will open at 5.30pm
Event starts at 6.30pm

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