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With James Ledger, Alice Keath and Seraphim Trio

Part art music, part poetry reading and part folk-rock oratorio, it was by turns profoundly moving, playful and darkly atmospheric

The Age

Birds have fascinated poets for centuries, not just for their song and flight but as symbols: of hope, freedom, love, communication, peace, luck good and bad, and migration. And what better way to honour them than by sending songs out into the air?

In a new song cycle stemmed from an idea by Anna Goldsworthy, Australian music legend Paul Kelly and leading Australian composer James Ledger have written thirteen new songs and soundscapes inspired by birds. Using the words of John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Judith Wright, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Gwen Harwood, A.D. Hope and others, each poem is its own world - delicate and intimate at times, colossal and soaring at others, with all states in between.

For one performance only, Paul Kelly and James Ledger will be joined by celebrated piano trio Seraphim (Anna Goldsworthy – piano, Helen Ayres – violin and Tim Nankervis – cello) and singer-songwriter Alice Keath to create a unique marriage of electronics, acoustic instruments and the human voice, celebrating winged creatures from the barn owl to the nightingale, from the thornbill to the falcon, from the magpie to the swan.

Details are correct at time of publication

He [Kelly] sung with his arms outstretched like a bird in flight and the music, words and voices combined effortlessly

The Guardian
  • Music composed by James Ledger and Paul Kelly

  • Vocals and acoustic guitar
    Paul Kelly
    Electric guitar and synthesizer
    James Ledger
    Vocals, banjo, autoharp, glockenspiel, percussion and synthesizer
    Alice Keath


    Seraphim Trio

    Anna Goldsworthy
    Helen Ayres
    Tim Nankervis