top of page
chirping, humming, feeding, fighting- fragments for wind instruments

2019 - any number of +4 assorted high and low wind instruments c. approx 8'

This piece was written in collaboration with biologist, Madeline Buchanan as part of a creative exchange between the University of St Andrews and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where we were each undertaking postgraduate studies respectively. 

Based on Madeline's masters research, the piece explores how rufous hummingbird behave and interact with as they compete for food and mating rights during their Summer migration in the Rocky Mountains of North America. They are small, fast, always hungry and, due to fierce competition, are highly aggressive.


The piece uses four collections of fragmented material: Humming, Chirping, Feeding and Fighting. These collections do not have a specific order and are to be played continuously, overlapping and competing.

The unfolding of the piece occurs via a set of game-like rules, pitting the musicians against one another just like the hummingbirds. There is opportunity for improvisation within the fragmented material. So far the piece has only been performed with 4 musicians but in theory could work with a lot more. Clefs and transpositions depend on the instruments being used so as to add to the chaos. 

I am currently working to build an online shop for pdf scores.

In the meantime, to access the full score for perusal or purchase please contact me via the contact page



Premiered at the Laidlaw Music Centre,  St Andrews, 13th of November 2019


Emma Roche - Flute

Anne Rankin - Oboe

Alex South - Bass Clarinet

Paul Stone - Trombone


bottom of page