The Barred Owl

for two pianos

Charlotte Bray

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for two pianos

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Composer Charlotte Bray

Year of Composition




Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-cb1bo1


The stillness is incredible; a Barred Owl sleeps in the tree. She wakes occasionally when she hears me, checking out the disturbance before returning to her rest. I watch her preen her feather coat, stretch out her powerful talons, and I name her Beatrice.

I didn’t hear her leave the branch; it was before 5.30pm. But then, hearing birds cries frantically in protest of her presence, I walk towards the commotion; three meters in front of me or less, there she is, sat silently, gracefully on a branch at eye level with me. She had seen me long ago, of course. Staring one another in the eye, I was completely mesmerised and having lost my breath, I stumble backwards through the trees to the studio to reach for my camera. She let me return to her, but as I approached closer for a photo flew off to a nearby higher branch above the dirt track, still perfectly in view, not afraid or affected by my presence- always in total control.

The first movement of the work explores this mystical character- her grace, power, and overriding stillness. The second holds more focus and intent, adrenaline pumping.

Includes two copies, one for each performer.