International Dawn Chorus Day

Good morning and for those that decided to have a late one, good day.

Sunday May 3rd 2015 or International Dawn Chorus Day inspired me to include an excerpt from a suite for percussion quartet, Sweet Whistling, on my YouTube channel

For years I have listened closely to bird song and have used some of their techniques in my own work. Not the pitches or themes, although Sweet Whistling uses a few, but the way that there are repeated but subtly altered motifs during the course of many of the calls.

In The Point Of No Return (for timpani soloist) I chose to use a motif that is repetitive yet never repeats itself during the course of the composition.


This is the theme which I consciously worked at during the music to be very recognisable and the main structural element of the work but never repetitive in a cut and paste fashion. When I listen to bird song there are many examples of this concept being developed by the bird during the course of the call.


The percussion group on the film is the Mixed Metals percussion ensemble performing two movements from Sweet Whistling sheet music available from A pdf of the music to The Point Of No Return is available to download at

Information about International Dawn Chorus Day can be found at their website and there is a free pdf from the BBC with some general information

© Peter R. Birkby 2015


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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