4 BIRD SONGS was composed for The Copenhagen Chamber Choir CAMERATA and conductor Martin Nagashima Toft. The main idea behind it was to take four folksongs from different parts of the world that tell stories about birds. The four songs come from the Basque Country, Denmark, Mexico and Japan and in choosing them, I have hoped that these will be familiar, easily recognizable melodies to the people from each particular place. Txoria is a melody and text written by Basque songwriter Mikel Laboa. It tells about love in its most understanding form. In a very swift and open‐hearted way, it describes the delicate line between loving and holding, and loving and letting go. Højt på en gren en krage is a Danish children’s song. It’s playful 5/4 meter and funny lyrics allow for a lot of rhythmic play. Only the first half of the text is known to most Danes today, but luckily I have found the full version, better known to older generations, and which mentions the Hoffman’s drops – an old alcohol based remedy. This gave a little extra material to paint the text towards the end of the song. El Pájaro Cú is a ‘son veracruzano’ – the folk music from the region of Veracrúz, in Mexico. The text is a traditional but I have based a lot of the melodic material on the interpretation of the fantastic Mexican group Mono Blanco. In this kind of ‘son’ it is common to sing the phrases in a call and response way between the singers, and in this way the different singers repeat the same text adding their own subtle ornamentation to the melody. I have focused on the rhythmic aspect of these subtle variations as a guideline for the piece. Suzume no gakkou is written in relatively basic imitation counterpoint. The text tells about a school of young sparrows, where a sparrow teacher is trying to teach the ‘chii‐chii pappa’ song to the young ones. In this version though, the song becomes a sort of meditation through which the song becomes rather un‐learned, contrary to expectations of the poor teacher. The choir comes together in the end and sings mo ichido isshou ni chii pappa: One more time, all together now – chii pappa… The movement can be performed with no repetitions at all, or with as many as the ensemble wishes. This commission was made possible thanks to the support from Danmarks Statens Kunstfond.