Red Bird Etudes (2011)

after Serigraphs by Charley Harper

Clarinet in B-flat

Total duration ca. 4'45"

Four movement work

I. Seeing Red

II. B-r-r-r-r-rd Bath

III. Last Sunflower Seed

IV. Cardinal Closeup

Premiered in October 2011

in Nashville, TN

by Laura Bouffard

Listen to a playlist of movements from this work on Soundcloud

Audio clips performed by Laura Bouffard


Purchase this score and part from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $10.00

Not literal transcriptions of birdsongs, these musical lines trace the erratic, comic flight paths rather than the calls of these cardinals. ‘Natural Minimalism’ is the way Harper describes his works: “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting.” Therein lies the lure of his art, and the lure of it as a source of musical inspiration.

"Seeing Red" by Charley Harper, used by permission of The Estate of Charley Harper