solo soprano saxophone
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.
My composition Ku Ku performed by Ithaca College (United States) student Kyle Kelley.
A rock star performance by Andrea Edlbauer of my composition Ku Ku.
My composition Ku Ku performed by Simone Moschitz (Italy) at the Milan Conservatory.
My composition Ku Ku performed by Charlotte Jenkins (United Kingdom).
My composition Ku Ku performed by Elisabete Adão (Portugal).
A performance of my composition Ku Ku by Thomas Kurtz, student at Michigan State University College of Music.
My composition Ku Ku performed by saxophonist Pedro Simões (Portugal).
My composition Ku Ku Performed by Brendan Catalano (Canada).
My composition Ku Ku performed by saxophonist Brendan Catalano (Canada). Third Year recital, University of Saskatchewan.
My composition Ku Ku performed by German saxophonist Lucas Knapp apparently under the youtube genre of ‘chicken’ – nice!
My composition Ku Ku performed by Wang Zitian, soprano saxophone at the Marco Albonetti – Conservatorio di Trento (Italy).
My composition Ku Ku performed by Italian saxophonist Roberto Armocida.
My composition Ku Ku performed by saxophonist Simon Watts (Australia).
My composition Ku Ku performed by Justin Kenealy (Australia) at Goodson Recital Hall, Shenandoah University – Winchester, VA, 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…
My composition Ku Ku Performed by Benton Case, student at Stanford University.
My composition Ku Ku performed by American saxophonist Chad Lilley.
My composition Ku Ku performed by British saxophonist Romilly Whiteley at Trumpington Church, Cambridge.
My composition Ku Ku performed by Mitch Rogalla, Illinois State University Recital.
My composition Ku Ku performed at 1st Year Master Recital at Crawford Hall, University of North Carolina School of the Arts by Chemie Ching.
My composition Ku Ku performed by Neal Postma (United States) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Great job Neal!
My composition Ku Ku performed by Benjamin James (United Kingdom).
My composition Ku Ku performed by Charles Ng (Hong Kong)
A superb tenor saxophone performance of my composition ‘Ku Ku‘ by British saxophonist and composer Tony Davis. World Saxophone Congress, Bangkok, 2009.
British saxophonist Alastair Penman performs my composition ‘Ku Ku‘.
Saxophonist Tak-Chiu WONG (Hong Kong) plays my composition ‘Ku Ku‘.
My composition ‘Ku Ku‘ skilfully performed by Marie-Hélène Bilodeau, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
I love this setting of the first half of my composition Ku Ku by Dutch saxophonist Ilse Bies.
An exciting performance of my composition Ku Ku in Taiwan by 陳冠文 Kuan-Wen Chen!
German saxophonist Steph Winzen plays my composition Ku Ku at the Conservatory of Mainz.
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.
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.
A fantastic rendition of my composition ‘Ku Ku’ performed by Dutch saxophonist Isle Bies.
A great performance by Taimur Sullivan (soprano saxophone) playing Ku Ku.