Watch the video of the premiere performance:
This work was inspired by a conversation with flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor, which revealed his fascination and fear of birds — or rather, perhaps, his fascination with his fear of birds. The musical material of the piece originates from the song of the Pacific Wren, a compact little bird, with an even more compact song: to most humans, it is an incomprehensible blurry burst of sound. However, if one seeks the means to listen to the song at a slower speed, one can approach perceiving it on a human scale, and begin to appreciate the complexity of information comprehended by wrens on their own terms. Continuing with an attempt to transcribe the song into Western musical materials, and to translate such to the Western concert flute, further extends the process -creating something, though related, that is new and distinct from the original, but also a bridge of patient, attentive willingness to approach the understanding of a formerly unfamiliar being.
Wrenegade was first performed by Mark Takeshi McGregor on January 19, 2017 at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, BC, Canada.