Something in the Air


Catalogue no. 0906

An eclectic sampling of music from the mixed-media ensemble The Bird Project, including improvisations to haiku, new takes on old tunes, new music written for the group, and works by the performers.

Music by van Eyck, Linda C. Smith, J.S. Bach, Ben Grossman, Alison Melville, Anonymous.

Music from this disc can also be heard on the soundtrack for award-winning filmmaker Malcolm Sutherland’s Umbra, which you can discover here:

  • Alison Melville, traverso, recorders
  • Kathleen Kajioka, reader
  • Ben Grossman, vielle à roue, sound

The Ill-Fated Ornithopter (Ben Grossman, composer)

Price: $14 plus shipping and handling = within Canada: $17.80; to USA: $18.75; everywhere else: $21.00. HST added at checkout. Discounts available if you want more than one!

Also available in digital format from Amazon and others. Here’s the Amazon link:


‘Prepare to be enchanted.’ John Terauds, Musical Toronto

Something in the Air is a selection of flute music from Alison Melville’s Bird Project. Well-known for her virtuosity on recorders and baroque flutes this CD (Verdandi Music 0906 provides a glimpse into a number of other aspects of Melville’s world. Still performing on recorders and traverso, for the most part this repertoire is far from what we’d expect from a baroque specialist. The disc opens with Linda C. Smith’s tranquil Magnolia which segues seamlessly into Ben Grossman’s The Ill Fated Ornithopter, which in turn morphs into Melville’s take on Hildegard von Bingen’s O ignis spiritus and then a free improvisation between Melville’s flute and Grossman’s hurdy-gurdy. The third performer involved in the recording is narrator Kathleen Kajioka who is first heard reciting Lorna Crozier’s Tafelmusik-commissioned poem If Bach were a bird overlaid upon a traditional Shanghai opera melody and followed by a recorder rendition of Bach’s Gavotte from BWV 1006. This is just a taste of the eclectic delights on offer throughout this disc. Other jewels include two “Bento boxes” comprised of Japanese Haiku interspersed with improvised instrumental sections; Ben Grossman’s electronic Birdddub and unusual baroque selections including Jakob van Eyck’s The Little English Nightingale and the anonymous Bird Fancier’s Delight from 1717 in which we are presented with pieces to teach to wild birds – five ditties intended for the instruction of nightingales, canaries, starlings, woodlarks and parrots.’  Toronto Star, June 2009


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