The Coo Coo Bird

Martin Arnold

The Coo Coo Bird has been performed in Victoria…

The Coo Coo Bird is an old-time song traditional to the Appalachians. In his book The Old, Weird America, Greil Marcus describes it as a “folk-lyric” tune “made up of verbal fragments that had no direct or logical relationship to each other.” I think in some ways my Coo-Coo Bird continues this process: a piece of stringband music, where textures—staggering rhythms, contingent harmonies, almost-melodies—emerge from players executing discrete tasks, untroubled by concerns of how the fragmented events might come together; a folk-lyric whose fragments are further fragmented.

The Coo Coo Bird

  • Martin Arnold
  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Instrumentation: piano, harp, strings, voice


22 Sept 2017
8:00 pm
In person
Victoria (British Columbia, Canada)