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Songbirds & Blue Silence

Bellingen Muse Festival

September 23, 2022 @ 7:30pm September 24, 2022 @ 5:00pm

Concert 1: Songbirds – September 23 @ 7:30 pm

Celebrate the breathtaking virtuosity of birdsong, from butcherbirds to lyrebirds, with an array of original new Australian chamber works with Songbirds. Be transported into the Australian bush by familiar and intriguing, real and imagined sounds, featuring beguiling new works by nature’s own composers with a little help from some of Australia’s leading composers and Ensemble Offspring’s own Lamorna Nightingale (flutes), Jason Noble (clarinets) and Claire Edwardes (percussion). 

After devoting her life to documenting pied butcher bird song in Central Australia, Hollis Taylor brings us her trio Bitter Springs Creek 2014 pairing live instrumentalists with these ancient avian artists. Fiona Loader’s Lorikeet Corroboree bring us an upbeat, punchy work which weaves the crazy chatter of Australia’s rainbow lorikeets in with some older, ground-dwelling composers, with fragments from Papageno’s Magic Flute, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and the scintillating sound world of Messiaen. Meanwhile Gerard Brophy makes flamingos dance and humming birds buzz in his 3 movement virtuosic, tour-de-force Beautiful Birds. And don’t miss the return of the otherworldly sounds of the unique waterphone, live, in its natural habitat. 

Capturing the calls and songs of the Australian bush, Songbirds is a journey into the sounds of nature with the magical calls of the red centre, virtuosic avian displays and indigenous musical perspectives on these beguiling creatures of the sky.

Concert 2: Blue Silence – September 24 @ 3:30 pm

Ensemble Offspring’s very own musical mavericks Claire Edwardes (marimba) and Jason Noble (bass clarinet) join forces with acclaimed American harpist Emily Granger (“watching Granger play the harp was enthralling” City News, Canberra) to unearth masterpieces from the depths of living musical imagination for their three monolithic instruments.

Granger’s harp features in a stunning solo penned by local legend Sally Whitwell and Edwardes’ marimba sings in a new work by Anne Cawrse. Virtuosic and rousing duos from Nathan Daughtrey (USA), Caleb Burhans (USA) and Ross Edwards (AUS) are flanked by two arrangements of the charming music of Australian treasure Elena Kats-Chernin, alongside Gerard Brophy’s new duo Just outside Van… for bass clarinet and marimba – a piece that takes you on a journey to Turkey’s ancient east coast. An eclectic and engaging program that showcases three unique instrumentalists at their peak.

Ensemble Offspring is committed to ensuring our events are accessible to everyone. Please email admin@ensembleoffspring.com at the time of booking to inform us of any special access needs.

$50 General Admission


Date & Time

Concert 1 – September 23 @ 7:30 pm
Concert 2 – September 24 @ 3:30 pm


General Admission



Concert 1: Songbirds – September 23 @ 7:30 pm
Fiona Loader
Lorikeet Corroboree flute, clarinet & vibraphone (2015)
Nardi SimpsonOf Stars and Birds flute, clarinet & vibraphone (2020)
Brenda GiffordMungala flute & percussion (2019)
Hollis Taylor / Jon RoseBitter Springs Creek 2014 flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone & field recording (2019)
Alice HumphriesThe Visitor (Sorry, I can’t stay) flute, bass clarinet & percussion (2022)
Claire EdwardesScreechers and Sorrows waterphone solo (2019)
Gerard BrophyBeautiful Birds (Mvt. II & III) flute, bass clarinet and vibraphone (2019)

Program duration: 60 minutes


Concert 2: Blue Silence – September 24 @ 3:30 pm

Elena Kats-CherninDance of the Paper Umbrellas marimba & harp (2013)
Gerard Brophy – Just outside Van… (Mvt. II & IV) bass clarinet & marimba (2021)
Sally Whitwell – Undiminished harp solo (2020)
Caleb Burhans – Once in a Blue Moon harp & marimba (2009)
Anne CawrseMeditations and Hymns solo marimba (2020)
Nathan DaughtreyVerve bass clarinet & marimba (2018)
Elena Kats-Chernin – Blue Silence bass clarinet, marimba & harp (2006)

Program duration: 60 minutes


Concert 1
Jason Noble (bass clarinet)
Claire Edwardes (percussion)
Emily Granger (harp)

Concert 2
Lamorna Nightingale (flutes)
Jason Noble (clarinets)
Claire Edwardes (percussion)

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Bellingen Muse Festival