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About this Piece

The Angry Birds of Kauai was created specifically for the Hilary Hahn Encore Contest. This work was inspired by the multitudes of birds that squawk and sing in cacophony every morning on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

The melodies and gestures imitate the rapid birdsong banter that they accomplish when they call, respond, and furiously compete for mates. Though the birds may or may not be angry, I definitely was after being woken up in the countryside every morning at the crack of dawn. The piece is cast in a theme and variations format. The bird theme, heard at the beginning, is a series of twitters and shouts, with a smattering of fast arpeggios. Throughout the piece, this bird theme is subjected to ever increasing modifications, expansions, twists, and interruptions. The loud, intermittent bird chords represent the “angry” shrieking sounds which territorial birds sometimes make.