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CompositionContemporary MusicResearch in the media

Research in the media: Urban Birds

13 March 2014

Dr Arlene Sierra appeared on the BBC Radio Wales Arts Show this week to discuss her new work – Urban Birds for three pianos with percussion and sampled birdsong – with presenter Nicola Heywood Thomas.

The programme is currently available on BBC iPlayer:

Image by Flickr user sussexbirder - shared under creative commons licence
Image by Flickr user sussexbirder – shared under creative commons licence

Urban Birds was commissioned by the INTER/actions Festival of Interactive Electronic Music, and will premiere at the Festival in Bangor this weekend. Dr Sierra received funding support from the PRS for Music Foundation as part of the UK-wide New Music Biennial – supporting and promoting commissions by some of the UK’s most exciting composers to be performed across the country and at two special weekend events in 2014 at London’s Southbank Centre and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music to coincide with the Commonwealth Games.

On the Arts Show, Dr Sierra discussed the inspiration behind the new piece,  the inspiration she draws from the pianists involved in performing it, and her innovative use of live bird recordings as part of the musical texture, with samples functioning as integral musical elements within the piece.

Urban Birds will be performed in Cardiff on Tuesday 19 March 2014 as part of the Cardiff University Concert Series. It brings together acclaimed keyboard soloists Clare Hammond, Xenia Pestova, and Kathleen Supove.

Ticket information is available from 

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