One of the birds from Emily Peasgood's 'BIRDS and other Stories' graphic score. A blackbird with musical notes around it.
BIRDS and other Stories


spoken word
2 megaphones

Additional Information

BIRDS and other Stories is a collaborative community project that resulted in the creation of a choral work with graphic score and an exhibition of stories from 30 members of the public. BIRDS and other Stories explores how women are viewed today, and the experience familiar to many women of being referred to, treated like and pet-named as ‘birds’. It was created in response to stories submitted by members of the public, personal reflections on being called a ‘bird’, and draws upon birdcalls, newspaper headlines, and wildlife documentary narratives to exemplify parallels used in language to describe both women and birds. At its premiere, the graphic score was interpreted by a project community choir of 50 singers. Singers explored the work two rehearsals. Each element of the graphic score can be realised in sound and mixed and matched, layered and structured in any order chosen by performers. Audiences are encouraged not to view each element of the work as an individual component but to embrace the entire picture. BIRDS and other Stories was inspired by my previous work, BIRDS (2016).

Materials: A0 graphic score: Pencil and ink, created in response to stories submitted by members of the public. Each element of the score can be realised as sound resulting in an indeterminate choral work for sung and spoken mixed voices, with optional megaphones [beaks]. Circa. Unlimited. Storyboards: Ten A2 storyboards containing stories that inspired the work. Learning Folder: Performers are provided with a learning folder containing an A1 copy of the score [folded], A4 cards of expanded individual score sections, lyrics, stories and a rehearsal CD.

Commissioned by: POW! to celebrate International Women’s Day. POW! Festival takes place in Thanet, Kent and explores issues around feminism, women and girls.

Team: Lead artist & composer: Emily Peasgood. Graphic score by Joe Inkpen and Emily Peasgood. Photography and film: Richard Maxted.

Awards: 2017 Ivor Novello Composer’s Award nominee (prev. British Composer Awards) for Community Music or Educational Project.




United Kingdom