I Hear You Mr Blackbird (2020) for piano and blackbird
I Hear You Mr Blackbird was commissioned as part of a project called ‘Contemporary Piano Soundbites'. This album of solo piano miniatures by British composers was commissioned and premiered by Honeybourne during April, May, and June 2020 through daily video recitals.
The original purpose of the project was, in Honeybourne’s words, “to imaginatively harness the zeitgeist of our present situation: to bring comfort and enjoyment to a large ready-made audience stuck at home, to aid musicians badly affected by the “cultural lockdown”, and to add to the contemporary repertoire, creating an artistic keepsake of this extraordinary phase in our history.”
I Hear You Mr Blackbird aimed to capture the contrast between the busyness of life before March 23rd 2020 and then once the national lockdown was put in place. In the first movement, there is no blackbird because no one could hear his song, in the second movement the piano and blackbird duet together as people became more attuned to their local wildlife in a quieter world.