A story of love, loss and taxidermy on a Broadland estuary. Told by a mix of professional actors and a community choir.

What Is A Bird Sheet Music

The songs of Breydon Crowther emerged as the story took shape. The process usually began with Chris and I identifying a point where a song needs to go and agreeing what it ought to say. What happened next was probably different for each song. Generally I produced a draft of some words. Chris then took these as a starting point and composed some music. When I got the music back I reworked the words to fit what he'd written. It always involved a certain amount of to-ing and fro-ing before we were both happy. Not everything worked like this. With The Curve of Her Neck (see This Article for the full Lyrics to The Curve Of Her Neck) Chris wrote a looping melody in 5/4 using just the opening line and I produced words to follow the curve of the unusual verse form which followed.

What is a Bird?

Not everything we wrote found a place in the script. Here are two outtakes, fragments that didn't make it. The first - What is a bird? - was concieved as a meditation for Dainty with contrasting thoughts by the practical Jack:


What is a bird?
A life on the wind
A distant cry
A cry that might be heard

It must be cold in the sky
All alone on the wind
With no one to share
A thought born on the wind

Do you wonder as you go
Why the East wind has to blow
And what for?
Or will your journey end alone
On some cold unfamiliar shore
Do you wonder just like me
When the morning brings the rain and the snow
If your life could start again
Would it be different or the same?
I don't know...


Meat for the pot
Feathers for a bonnet
Roast on the coals
Though there's very little on it

Meal from the bones
And stones in the gullet
Tear out the crop
Twist it out and hull it -
Quick while the tide is making -

We all have to eat
And a bird's just a way
Of turning grass into meat...

Chris produced a lovely tune but the end result just didn't fit the narrative as it unfolded. 

The Bottom Drawer

And here's another. An idea for song for Sir Morton Savile that was abandoned before a note of music was written:

Committee meetings, all-night sittings - 

They soon drain the life from a man.

I’d as soon walk the marsh

With a gun in my hand

Than drink wine from a glass with a duke

Give me wide open skies

And the company of men

Who will speak without fear of rebuke

Give me the frost and the mist and the rain

And an east wind sharp off the sea

Not carpets and curtains 

And ladies in turbans

Not cold Civil servants

And speakers of sermons...

These will both join the other material in every writer's best friend - the bottom drawer.



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