Bronius Kutavičius

Two Birds in the Shade of the Woods

Year of composition: 1978
Duration: 14′
Instrumentation: S-ob-prep pf-tape
Text: Rabindranath Tagore, translated by Vytautas Nistelis
Language: Lithuanian

Published scores:
Vilnius: Vaga, 1986

Released recordings:
LP Melodiya C10-18773-4 "Jubilee Concert", 1982
CD Bronius Kutavičius. The Small Spectacle. – Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre, LMIPC CD 064, 2011
CD Lithuanian Music in Context I. Lessons of the Avant-garde. - Vilnius, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre LMIPCCD065-066, 2011

Bronius Kutavičius, first amongst Lithuanian composers started employing extended piano techniques, such as using palms to strike wide tone clusters, or plucking the strings (Pantheistic Oratorio, 1970). These coloristic piano possibilities are extensively used in his Chamber Cantata Two Birds in the Shade of the Woods. Next to plucking the strings using fingers or other objects, striking the outer rim and palm-muting, the composer for the first time explored the bowed piano technique, which he used in his later works in order to imbue his music with the ‘Oriental’ flavor. The soundscapes of the outer movements, comprised of long, sustained, occasionally bending tones, are reminiscent of the classical Indian music (the bowed piano resembles the tanpura). The piece could also be considered the earliest instance of ‘drone music’ in the Lithuanian music history. The live and pre-recorded performance of the singer and the players in the contrasting inner movement results in antiphonal passages, and evoke an argument between the wild and the caged birds.

Linas Paulauskis