Wild Communion
One more post for the feathered ones

Tunes for a Monday Morning

Photograph by Sophie Hale

As a follow-up to last week's music, here are a few more songs with the rustle of wings, dedicated to the birds who fill the quiet of pandemic lockdown with glorious song.

Above: "Seven Hundred Birds" by Monika Gromek's band Quickbeam, from Glasgow, Scotland. The atmospheric video was filmed in the hills of Cumbria. 

Below: "Starlings" by Welsh composer and guitarist Toby Hay. The song first appeared on his Birds EP -- five songs inspired by starlings, ravens, curlews,  and red kites. It can also be found on his fine album The Gathering, which came out last year.

Above: "The Lark" performed by singer/songwriter Kate Rusby, from South Yorkshire, with Nic Jones, based here in Devon. The song appeared on her album The Girl Who Couldn't Fky (2005).

Below: "Hour of the Blackbird" performed by Ninebarrow (Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere), from Dorset, accompanied by Lee Cuff (from Kadia) on cello. The song appeared on their album The Waters and the Wild (2018).

Above: "The Sweet Nightingale" performed by folksinger and fiddle/viola player Jackie Oates, from Staffordshire. The song appeared on her album Saturnine (2010)

Below: Lal Waterson's "The Bird," performed by Oates on her album The Joy of Living (2018).

Above: "What's the Use of Wings," written by Brian Bedford, performed by Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood, a singer/songwriter from Oxfordshire. Oates and Henwood are accompanied here by video clips of starling murmurations, and Pete Thomas on double bass.

Below: "The Wren and the Salt Air" by Scottish singer/songwriter Jenny Sturgeon (of Salt House), inspired by the wildlife and human history of St. Kilda in the Outer Hebrides. (St. Kilda was discussed in a previous post here.) I also recommend Sturgeon's album Northern Flyway with Inge Thomson (from the Shetland Isles): a musical exploration of birdsong, ecology, folklore, and themes of migration (discussed in a previous post here).

Above: "The Cuckoo" performed by British folk duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker on their EP The Birds (2017).

Below: "Hushabye" by the great Northumbrian piper Kathrine Tickell, and her band the Darkening. It's from their new album Hollowbone (2020), with a new video by Marry Waterson.

Starling Murmuration by Sophie Hale

Images above: Starling murmurations on the Isle of Wight, photographed by Sophie Hale, 2019. (All rights reserved by the artist.)

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