Kathy Hinde

FLOCK : 2023

FLOCK packed in charm, delight and a nicely developing exploration of birdsong and flight.“ David Kettle, The Scotsman

FLOCK is a 30 minute piece with a strong visual element, created for children and families of all ages commissioned for Red Note Ensemble in partnership with Sound Festival.

FLOCK is centred around a suite of newly invented playful instruments combined with flute, cello and percussion. Opening with a sonically and visually captivating performance by the musicians, the audience are gently encouraged to become more involved until, through their collective effort, a chirping flock comes into being.

FLOCK evolves from explorations of the songs and calls of birds, the sounds of a woodland and the weather. Origami birds slowly flap their paper wings overhead, music boxes tinkle, automated swanee whistles twitch and flutter, accordion reeds and pipes resonate… creating an evocative and intriguing setting that builds towards the impression of a lively flock of birds tweeting and chattering together.

Red Note Ensemble premiered FLOCK at Sound Aberdeen in October 2023, performed brilliantly by Red Note’s Tom Hunter (Percussion), Ruth Morley (flute), and Duncan Strachan (Cello) and children from the audience playing hand made instruments, with dramaturgy by Matt Addicott.

Production management by Elle Taylor and Sarah Adair, bespoke software by Matthew Olden

Review of the premiere at Sound Festival, October 2023, by David Kettle in The Scotsman

A 10am start meant a new work by established composer and sound artist Kathy Hinde. The bird-inspired FLOCK was intended for four-to-eight-year-olds, and clearly hit its mark with toddlers and older kids enraptured by Hinde’s fascinating musical contraptions – a swanee whistle harmonium, perhaps, or a wall of hanging piping that expanded to produce sighing accordion tones. Three musicians from the Red Note Ensemble – flautist Ruth Morley, cellist Duncan Strachan and percussionist Tom Hunter – were on hand to bring Hinde’s gentle, evocative score to vivid life. But there was plenty for grown-ups to marvel at, too, in Hinde’s playpen of unexpected sonic delights – such that the chance to get involved was lapped up. It might have lasted barely half an hour – just right for young attention spans – but FLOCK packed in charm, delight and a nicely developing exploration of birdsong and flight.