January 2019 | Sharon Webb
TWO OF AUSTRALIA’S most adventurous young classical musicians perform a musical celebration of Australia’s birds and how they shaped the world at Deloraine’s Little Theatre on Saturday 19th January. In Where Song Began, Violinist Simone Slattery and cellist Anthony Albrecht tell the story of the evolution of song, featuring music spanning 300 years, stunning visual projections and an immersive soundscape. The show is based on ornithologist Tim Low’s best - selling book, Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds And How They Changed the World.
Audiences have described the 50-minute show as “like being sung to by the country.” Where Song Began is being performed in many venues around Tasmania with $1.00 from every ticket sold donated to Birdlife Tasmania or a related cause. Anthony Albrecht said the show includes music by J.S. Bach, Vaughan Williams Sarah Hopkins and even a traditional indigenous hymn, Ngarra Burra Ferra. “We perform the music to a projected film of beautiful birds and Australian landscapes,” he said. “All age groups enjoy it and children find it really engaging so I always encourage parents to bring their children along.”
Tim Low’s eye-opening book tells the dynamic but little-known story of how Australia provided the world with songbirds and parrots, among other bird groups, why Australian birds wield surprising ecological pow - er, how Australia became a major evolutionary centre and why scientific biases have hindered recognition of these discoveries.
The renowned biologist with a rare storytelling gift says Australia’s birds, from violent, swooping magpies to tool-making cockatoos, are strikingly different from birds of other lands often more intelligent and aggressive, often larger and longer-lived. Simone Slattery was recently awarded a PhD in Music Performance from the University of Adelaide and performs regularly with Australia’s finest ensembles. Anthony Albrecht is an Australian graduate of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program and is now based in London.