For The Blue Bird I made a gentle intervention into the famous English partsong ‘The Blue Bird’. The song describes a bluebird as it flies across a placid lake, its reflection dancing on the water's surface. The harmonies of Charles Villiers Stanford's score paint a tranquil scene tenuously held by the beautiful but fragile soprano solo. For my arrangement I added extra pages at significant points in the piece as well as instructions for their turning. This choreography has the effect of foregrounding the page-turns; the rippling sound of their movement becomes a subtle addition to the soundscape, further animating the bird from Mary E. Coleridge's text. This intervention also has the effect of expanding the piece, extending its held chords and pauses and augmenting the work's implicit timelessness.
The Blue Bird was first performed by Musarc at St Bartholomew the Great, December 2010 under the direction of Cathy Heller Jones.
The score for the work can seen at the Tate Library Special Collections.