Chamber Music Weekend
Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds
Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Alice Keath & Seraphim Trio
'Perfect in its simplicity, grace and execution'
A Perth Festival Commission
Australian music legend Paul Kelly and leading Western Australian composer James Ledger bring together musicians from broad-ranging backgrounds to perform bird-inspired poems written by John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Judith Wright, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Gwen Harwood, A D Hope and others.
Birds have fascinated poets for centuries, not just for their song and flight but as symbols – of hope, freedom, love, communication, peace, luck good and bad, and migration. What better way to honour them than by sending songs out into the air?
Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds features Seraphim Trio with Anna Goldsworthy on piano, Helen Ayres on violin and Tim Nankervis on cello, along with composer James Ledger and singer-songwriters Paul Kelly and Alice Keath. Together these artists create an evocative soundscape, each poem its own world – delicate and intimate at times, colossal and soaring at others, with everything in between. Banjo with pizzicato strings, synthesizer drones with piano, processed guitar with glockenspiel are just a few of the combinations to be heard.
Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds is a unique marriage of electronics, acoustic instruments and the human voice, celebrating winged creatures from the barn owl to the nightingale, from the thornbill to the falcon, from the magpie to the swan.
The Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds album is now available.
ComposersJames Ledger & Paul KellyPianoAnna GoldsworthyViolinHelen AyresCelloTim NankervisVocals & acoustic guitarPaul KellyElectric guitar, synthesizer & percussionJames LedgerVocals, banjo, autoharp, glockenspiel, percussion & synthesizerAlice KeathLighting Designer & OperatorChristopher PetridisSound Design & OperatorBob ScottDirectorsTorben Brookman, Richelle Brookman, Paul Warwick Griffin, Gareth Hewitt William
Associate ProducerZac TylerProduction ManagerPaige GoodwinAssistant ProducerPaul Harvey
Paul Kelly has recorded over 25 albums, several film soundtracks and published a self-described ‘mongrel memoir’, How To Make Gravy, in an influential career spanning four decades. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2017 was appointed as an officer of the Order of Australia. In 2019 he released the albums Thirteen Ways To Look At Birds and Paul Kelly’s Greatest Hits - Songs From The South 1985-2019. He also released Love is Strong as Death, a book of poems that he curated.
James Ledger is a composer with a body of work that spans from solo to orchestral music. He has been composer-in-residence and commissioned by many ensembles, arts organisations and festivals. His orchestral music has been performed internationally and his music has won APRA and ARIA awards. Ledger conducts and lectures in composition at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Western Australia.
Alice Keath is a songwriter, composer, performer and broadcaster. As one half of duo Sweet Jean, she has released two albums and toured throughout Australia and internationally. She has worked as a composer and sound designer for theatre and dance, and received several scholarships relating to music and broadcasting. She currently presents Afternoons on ABC Classic FM.
Over the last two decades Helen Ayres, Anna Goldsworthy and Tim Nankervis have remained steadfastly committed to chamber music – from building the contemporary repertoire, to developing new audiences and teaching the next generation of performers. Alongside Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds, other highlights for 2019 included the release of a CD set celebrating the history of the piano trio for ABC Classics The Trio Through Time and a tour for the Australian National Academy of Music with violist Martin Alexander. In January 2020 Seraphim take up their fifth residency at Epsom House, Tasmania, for a weekend feast of chamber music with Sydney Symphony Concertmaster Andrew Haveron. In Perth Seraphim are also delighted to be performing a new piano trio by Australia's own Richard Mills, alongside Beethoven's beloved Archduke Trio.
|Time & Location||
Sat 15 Feb
Eligible for package discount
Contains smoke or haze effects
Post Show Q&A
Sat 15 Feb
Stay in your seats after the performance to hear from creators and artists in a Q&A session.
- Presented in arrangement with GWB Entertainment. Commissioned by Adelaide Festival and Perth Festival.
- Shane Reid