New Composition for
About the Piece
NOTE: If a particularly high level of participation in this consortium is reached, the work may be expanded to be multi-movement. The following descriptor is written under the pretense that the composition will be a single movement.
Moho birds (known as Ō'ō in the Hawaiian language) were wiped off the face of the earth during the 20th century. Roughly between robins and crows in size, these animals had glossy black plumage with splashes of yellow feathering, long and thin beaks used to eat nectar, and an incredibly distinctive mating call. They also had a rough go during their last century on earth, succumbing to habitat loss, avian malaria outbreaks, over-hunting, competition from invasive species, and two hurricanes arriving within a ten-year period.
The last of the Moho birds, the Kaua'i 'Ō'ō, is believed to have gone extinct in 1987, two years after the last sighting of the species, when the last ever audio recording of the bird’s distinct mating song was made by David Boynton. This last surviving specimen, a male, was driven by instinct to sing into the forests in an attempt to find a female who would never come, likely unaware of the extreme state of his isolation. When this individual died, he was the last surviving animal in the family Mohoidae, meaning there was no other creature on earth like him in his final days. His death marked the only complete extinction of an avian taxonomic family in modern times, which would be akin to the last of our species dying in a world where every other human and great ape was already wiped out.
This composition, currently intended to be titled Ō'ō, will attempt to have the solo flute emulate the last day of this bird’s life. While birdsong has become a staple theme in flute music, using it to explore the concepts of isolation, environmentalism, instinct, and natural acoustic phenomena seems to be a new angle on the subject, and is currently without peer in the repertoire.
Consortium Member Benefits
Name listed in the score as a commissioner
Performance exclusivity through October 2021
Updates as the composition is completed
Input on composition's musical material
Mr. Rieger will be working closely with the lead commissioner, Emily Zuber, in ensuring the piece is both idiomatic and effective. The piece is set to be completed around January of 2021, and the lead commissioner does reserve rights to the premier performance of the work.
The price to join the consortium as a commissioner is $25 (paid upfront), payable to Kyle Rieger via Paypal (@RiegerMusic). Consortium members will receive a PDF copy of the piece when it is completed. The deadline to join the consortium is September 1st, 2020.
How to Join:
For questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact the composer and/or lead commissioner via email.