Skip to main content

Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds details

Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds pictures

Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds description

Birds have fascinated poets for centuries, not just for their song and flight but as symbols: of hope, freedom, love, communication, peace, luck good and bad, and migration. And what better way to honour them than by sending songs out into the air?

In a new song cycle commissioned by the 2019 Adelaide Festival from an idea by Anna Goldsworthy, Australian music legend Paul Kelly and leading Australian composer James Ledger have written thirteen new songs and soundscapes inspired by birds. Using the words of John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Judith Wright, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Gwen Harwood, A.D. Hope and others, each poem is its own world - delicate and intimate at times, colossal and soaring at others, with all states in between.

For two performances only, Paul Kelly and James Ledger will be joined by celebrated piano trio Seraphim (Anna Goldsworthy – piano, Helen Ayres – violin and Tim Nankervis – cello) and singer-songwriter Alice Keath to create a unique marriage of electronics, acoustic instruments and the human voice, celebrating winged creatures from the barn owl to the nightingale, from the thornbill to the falcon, from the magpie to the swan.

For the audio version of this event page, click here.

James Ledger has established an impressive reputation as a symphonic composer.

The Australian

(Paul Kelly’s) voice - sly and warm, laconic and sometimes frail - may be the closest thing we have to a national one.

The Monthly

Event additional information

Book a dinner with this event

Restaurant Partners

Have you thought about dinner? Make your reservations at these nearby restaurants or bars now!

You might also be interested in

Find more events