Kate Westbrook - voice
© Enja Records ENJ-9456-2. Distributed in the UK by AMD
Chanson Irresponsable takes as its starting point the anarchic and eclectic nature of the song of the sedge warbler. First an instrumental opening establishes the bird's musical habitat. In spring the Sedge Warblers arrive, represented by the two vocalists, Kate Westbrook and Matthew Sharp, and the two clarinetists, Chris Biscoe and Peter Whyman.
There are basically two original texts by Kate Westbrook, one about the birds strutting territorial display, and the other about nest building and procreation. These words are heard in English, Italian, French and German, each time in a different musical setting.
Towards the close of the piece, one sedge warbler, singing philosophically until the end, is killed by a cat. A funeral hymn is followed by a New Orleans-style parade. At the end of summer the remaining birds sing one last song and are gone.
Sound samples from this album can be heard on the Westbrookjazz site: