Emily Doolittle’s Woodwings will be performed in a new version for 10 winds and 2 strings by the English Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Woods conductor, at the Three Choirs Festival on Wednesday 28 July.
Woodwings is based on the songs of nine birds whose songs and calls can be heard across Canada, where I am originally from. Each of the first four movements explores the song or call of a single species of bird: the bobolink, the hermit thrush, the winter wren, and the snow goose. The fifth movement is based on the calls of five owls found in Canada (hawk owl, northern saw whet owl, northern pygmy owl, boreal owl, and western screech owl), which I choose not because they are likely to be found all together, but because of the way the calls complement each other. Whereas the first four movements are traditionally notated, the fifth movement gives the performers considerable choice in how they wish to perform and structure it.
This piece was commissioned by Fifth Wind (Halifax, Canada) as part of their Forecasting the Canadian Wind and supported by a Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter Grant.
The version to be performed in this concert, for 10 winds and bass, was arranged for the the English Symphony Orchestra and reflects my love of larger wind ensembles, perhaps stemming from my earlier days as an oboist!Emily Doolittle
Woodwings is proudly available for perusal and purchase through Composers Edition website alongside other works by Emily Doolittle.