Mr. Wilson Presents

This week’s challenge: take a birdsong and make some music with it.

This challenge was thrown down by Elise a while ago in the episode with the flute duet, as you may recall, and the piece she’s referring to is Mozart’s seventeenth piano concerto. Mozart had access to a starling, which are somewhat hard to come by in this part of east Asia, so to make sure I got a bird that would sing for me this time I headed to the zoo. To my dismay, the section with the birds was undergoing renovation so I put the call out and my friend Olive came to the rescue with a pair of parrots (I think) that eventually sang for me.

Here’s the transcription that I made of what the parrot said. You can judge for yourself from the video above whether it’s an accurate transcription, but in any case it’s close enough for our purposes.

The quote appears literally in the flute line at the beginning and at the end, and also hidden in the piano accompaniment through the B section:

And later:

I briefly considered writing sarcastic little digressions into the piano part, referring back to the first theme, but ultimately wrote them out when I decided they sounded really cheesy.

Here’s the sheet music. You can hear the recording at