‘Where Song Began’ - a musical performance at American River

Two accomplished musicians inspired by bird song are coming to American River on Sunday, November 18 to give a musical performance. 

Simone Slattery was recently awarded a PhD in Music Performance from the University of Adelaide and performs regularly with Australia’s finest ensembles.

Anthony Albrecht is an Australian graduate of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program and is now based in London.

Inspired by leading ornithologist Tim Low’s award-winning book “Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds And How They Changed The World”, Simone and Anthony’s 50-minute performance explores the Australian origins of songbirds, “the birds that can sing”.

Such is their evolutionary significance, “one may ask whether human music would have reached the heights it has, had the first songbird not sung in an Australian rainforest.”

Accessible for all ages, this work encourages the audience to contemplate the origin of birdsong and the importance of Australia's rich and colourful bird history.

The program includes music spanning 300 years, from Johann Heinrich Schmelzer and J.S. Bach to Arvo Pärt and new Australian works, enhanced by a film of evocative landscape stills, moving images and bird call field recordings sourced from the Cornell Ornithology Lab.

The performance is supported by BirdLife Kangaroo Island. $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to BirdLife.

More info visit www.wheresongbegan.com

Immediately after the concert, Kangaroo Island Eco-Action's AGM will now start at 12.30pm at Bill Prime’s home on the Playford Highway at Cygnet River to enable people to attend the “Where song began” musical performance beforehand.

At the KI Eco-Action AGM, Peter Owen, Wilderness Society SA, will talk about environmental issues relevant to KI, including oil exploration and drilling in the Bight, marine  parks and the new Landscape Act.  

Tickets for the American River concert are available on the door and online. Adults $25, Under 18 $5

The concert is 11am on Sunday, November 18 at the American River Hall.

Performance length: 60 minutes without interval, including a Q&A


  • Arvo Pärt - Fratres for solo violin, 1977
  • Sarah Hopkins - Reclaiming the Spirit, 1993
  • Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending, 1917
  • Chris Williams - bird, songs, seas, 2017
  • Ross Edwards - Ecstatic Dance No.2, 1990
  • Johann Heinrich Schmelzer - Cucu Sonata, 1664
  • J.S. Bach  - Prelude from Cello Suite No.1, c.1720
  • David Lang - Anthochaera carunculate (Red Wattle Bird), New Commission, 2017
  • Ngarra Burra Ferra - Traditional Indigenous hymn

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