Hawks & Kites

It feels like a long time since I’ve shared some new music – in reality only a couple of months.  I guess that’s still a long time, but I only missed the one planned post so that’s okay.

Today I’d like to share a couple of pieces I’ve recorded, one of them is my newest composition, the other is a folk tune by Michael Raven that I found in a tune book I received for a Christmas present.  I’ve no idea if my interpretation is true to the composers ideas, but I was completely captivated by it.  They are both heavily inspired by nature.

by Michael Raven

Sparrowhawks are birds of prey: fast, nimble and beautiful.  They are small and have adapted their hunting skills specifically for confined spaces like dense woodlands.  If you’re very lucky, you might also find them in your garden.  They are resident to the UK and aren’t endangered – but they are still fantastic birds!  In the Springtime the males impress the females with a beautiful ‘rollercoaster’ flight and it’s this that I feel is captured in Raven’s beautiful tune.

The tune completely captivated me when I first played it.  It is written in 6/8 time, although I play it more like it was a 3/4 waltz.  The chords were provided with the tunes and I haven’t changed them, but the left hand arrangement, while based on these chords, is what flowed naturally from my fingers as I played the piece.  Its mostly based in A minor although its hard to decide what the B part is in – maybe C major, maybe E minor.

This is one of the few times I’ve shared another composer’s tune with you, and this time its because it lead me towards my composition which is shared below.

The Red Kite Soars
by Stephanelli

My latest composition.  It never gets easier to share something you’ve drawn out of your heart, something you think is beautiful, opening it up to the world and its criticism.  I’ve been lucky with this blog, and for that I’m thankful!  So thank you for being nice listeners!

redkiteRed Kites are large birds of prey.  I normally see them around Northamptonshire, UK, but I’m seeing them more often in Cambridgeshire which makes me very happy.  I love their size and watching them soar effortlessly across the sky.

This piece is in the bizarre time signature of 5/4 and the less weird key signature of F# minor.  Why?  Because it felt right.  I can’t explain it, it just did.

Imagine you’re standing in the cold, wrapped up warm in your fleece, hat, scarf and gloves.  You’re standing in a grassy field, maybe there are a few shrubs and bushes near you.  Maybe there are icy puddles.  Its winter and you’re looking up to admire the bright, cloudless, blue sky.  Then you see a large bird, with patches of white and a forked tail.  You know its a Red Kite.  You watch it soar, wondering how it can find the thermals in the cold.  It circles, flaps its wings occasionally but mostly just soars completely effortlessly.

If you successfully imagined that, then you’re pretty close to the image I had in mind when I composed this.  I hope you enjoy listening to it.


One thought on “Hawks & Kites

  1. Reblogged this on Stephanelli's Wild Adventures and commented:

    Over on Stephanelli’s Musical Adventures, my musical blog, I posted some recordings of two folk tunes inspired by birds of prey. I love how nature can inspire so many things from paintings to sculptures, poetry to daydreams and photos to music. I thought I’d share it here for those who are interested.


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