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Acanthis: a winged canticle

a five movement suite for orchestra

Year:  2021   ·  Duration:  22m
Instrumentation:  2 2 2 2 / 4 2 3 1 / timp+1 / hp / str [PERC: Tam-tam (friction (superball) mallet, soft mallets, medium mallet), Antique Cymbals (A), Wood block (hard mallet), Sandpaper blocks (rubbed together), Crash Cymbals, Vibraphone (G, F, Eb, with Double Bass bow), Tambourine, Bass Drum]

Year:  2021
Duration:  22m
Instrumentation  2 2 2 2 / 4 2 3 1 / timp+1 ...

Chris Adams

Composer:   Chris Adams

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 3, 18, 25, 37, 40 and 46 of score

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Acanthis: a winged canticle, is a set of five pieces for orchestra with each drawing inspiration from a different native bird that can be found around the Auckland region. I have also linked each piece to one of the parts of the traditional latin mass. I did this to create a sense of unity between the five pieces, as each of the birds is distinct and unique, but also because each of the birds is threatened and facing many challenges for their survival. Some of these challenges (actually to be frank, virtually all of these challenges) are due to us: the impact of climate change that often has quite unexpected consequences, the encroaching urban and agricultural development and destruction of natural habitats, the impact of introduced animals (both pets and wild), as well as other factors.

Each of the birds; the Hihi, the North Island Kaka, the Kokako, the Fairy Tern or Tara Iti and the North Island Brown Kiwi are beautiful birds with distinct character, sound, and environment, and I have aimed to capture this using the full orchestra.

Commissioned note

written for the Auckland Philharmonia

Contents note

I. Hihi (Kyrie)
II. North Island Kaka (Gloria)
III. Kokako (Sanctus)
IV. Fairy Tern, Tara Iti (Benedictus)
V. North Island Brown Kiwi (Agnus Dei)