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Nardi Simpson: Of Stars and Birds (Ensemble Offspring)
Composer Nardi Simpson, a Yuwaalaraay woman from northern NSW, is a storyteller and performer with a deep commitment to the making and sharing of culture. Her new piece, Of Stars and Birds, celebrates the connection of birds and their song to the land, by drawing on the Yuwaalaraay southern cross story, which sees this iconic Australian constellation as a tree with two cockatoos roosting in its branches.
By contrasting percussion and woodwind timbres, Simpson creates a subtle sonic landscape that explores the relationship between bird and tree, night and day, sound and silence, earth and sky: the cockatoo, she explains, is white during the day, boisterous and numerous, but at night, a singular, black presence sitting silently above the earth.
In this world premiere recording, Simpson’s music is performed by acclaimed Ensemble Offspring: Sydney’s ‘musical mavericks’, featuring the most innovative instrumentalists in Australia. Under the artistic direction of award-winning percussionist Claire Edwardes, Ensemble Offspring explores new ideas through living music that leaps across art forms. presenting intricately crafted experiential performances that transcend genre and place.
Of Stars and Birds was commissioned by ABC Classic in 2020 as part of the ABC’s Fresh Start program.
Jason Noble clarinet