An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (2014)
for recorder and electronics

Written for Josephine Bode
To be performed on ...

Program notes:
In An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright a natural philosopher is depicted, recreating one of Robert Boyle's air pump experiments in which a bird is deprived of air before a varied group of onlookers. The group exhibits a variety of reactions, but for most of the audience scientific curiosity overcomes concern for the bird. In my piece for recorder and electronics, bearing the same name as the painting, I examine the curious relation between science and art, or should I say alchemy and art? Artists often dabble around with scientific ideas and terms in order to pursue their artistic goal. By poking around in the dark things are tried and even justified if the concept vaguely smells like science. The musicians dutifully play their role in these experiments, hoping that the alchmists ideas turn to gold.


c. 7 minutes

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