Out the window breath, bone, feather

Chamber ensemble (2-7 players), Collaborations, Dance

For cello, flute and clarinet

Out the window breath, bone, feather was commissioned with funding from Creative New Zealand, and supported by Carol Brown’s research award through the University of Auckland NICAI’s Faculty Research and Development Fund.

About the work

Choreographer Carol Brown and I devised Out the window breath, bone, feather — in collaboration with 8 exceptional performers, dramaturge Fiona Graham, photographer Solomon Mortimer and performance designer Kasia Pol — while I held the 3‐month University of Otago Wallace Residency at the Pah Homestead in Auckland. A performance on 21 October 2013 was the culmination of the residency — the music was performed by Luca Manghi (flute), Katherine Hebley (cello) and Andrew Uren (clarinet).

It is a site-specific piece in which the audience is led through Auckland’s Pah homestead from the portico to the crater behind the building. Working with sung and spoken text, dance, original music and working with the evocative paintings of Star Gossage, the piece allows glimpses into the history of the land, the house and its inhabitants.

It references prehistory with the dance of the moa, the use of the site as a Pah, the building of the house and the first family, the subsequent use of the building to house immigrants, as a boys’ home and as a convent. Today it is an art gallery and park for the people of Auckland.

Scores and recording

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Out the window breath, bone, feather — SOUNZ

Hear and watch a recording of the performance at the Pah homestead.

Out the window breath, bone, feather  — video


Before a season at the 2015 Auckland Festival, Carol Brown and I were interviewed on RNZ Concert.

Carol Brown and Gillian Whitehead: Pah — RNZ