solo soprano saxophone
6 minutes

I had been studying in France and one of the last pieces that I performed was Berio’s Sequenza VIIb for soprano saxophone. As I tend to do when practising, I improvised around the themes of the piece. I often found that to contrast the extreme nature of the Sequenza I would play long melodic lines. To contrast further with this, I would take some of the multiphonics used by Berio and add some funky rhythms. When a friend kindly told me that I sounded like a chicken it was amusing to extend on this idea.

Ku Ku remains my most widely played composition after Black & Blue.

Ignoring the spelling apparently:

Kuku in Swahili means chicken.
Ku-ku is a type of clock made in the Black forest.
Ku Ku means crazy.

There are happy hens, ones that live on an organic farm,
that have worms to eat and lay lots of eggs.

The air is fresh and the handsome rooster caters for all their needs…

There are other kinds of chickens,
ones that may have lost their mind, or their head!

Each day they do the same thing, they live in little boxes,
cluck, cluck…. cluck, cluck.

Ku Ku clucked by Chad Lilley (USA)

Chad Lilley gives a brooding but ‘eggcellent’ performance of my composition Ku Ku live with live chickens.  He was literally walking on eggs shells for the quietest passages and he built up to an ‘eggsplosive’ and ‘eggciting’ finish. No birds were harmed in the filming of this video, although Chad was feeling a little hen pecked by the end. Chad played well and escaped without any egg on his face. I will stop the sick yokes now before you all crack up and go into shell shock. Chookers! Remind me to tell you all about my piece ‘Pluck Me’ some time…


CD: Anisotrophies – Fatima Hidalgo Cabrera

Fatima Hidalgo Cabrera CD

Fàtima Hidalgo Cabrera CD

Great new CD featuring Spanish (Tarragona) saxophonist Fàtima Hidalgo Cabrera. She has done a fantastic recording of my composition Ku Ku and also includes works by Dimitri Tchesnokov, Juanjo Villarroya, David Salleras, Nicholas Prost and Eric Jehanno.

Video: Irish Saxophonist Gerard McChrystal plays Ku Ku

Gerard McChrystal sublimely plays my composition Ku Ku live at Aberystwyth Musicfest in Wales. I had the great pleasure to hear Gerard play this piece live in January at the British Saxophone Congress. Thanks Gerard! You can read more about Gerard on his website.

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