The Grey Ghost

for Piano + Electronics

Commissioned and premiered by Xenia Pestova for Chamber Music New Zealand tour, 2017

The Grey Ghost is a meditation in piano and electronics drawing on the ancient song of the once prolific North Island Kōkako.

Download SyncSound App to participate in Miriama Young’s The Grey Ghost. The live performance relies on you! The App streams a soundtrack of transformed birdsong whilst Xenia plays piano.

Once downloaded, please switch iPhone to “Auto-Lock -> Never” (Under Settings -> Display & Brightness). (This means the entire soundtrack will play without stopping.)

Then follow the downbeat of the pianist to press ‘play’.

The bird’s distinctive call closely resembles that of its possibly extinct South Island cousin, known as ‘The Grey Ghost’, last officially recorded at Mount Aspiring National Park, 1967.

Renewed efforts are currently in place to confirm the presence or extinction of this species.

Recordings of North Island Kōkako supplied by the New Zealand Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai.

Thanks to the Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne for supporting this project.

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