this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling…

I stayed in Aarhus, Denmark, courtesy of Wayne Siegel, a California-born composer who’s lived in Denmark since 1974, moving up to the position of the country’s only official electronic music professor. Wayne and his wife, the novelist Elisabeth Siegel, have a pet jackdaw named Alice. A jackdaw is a raven-like bird, though smaller, native to Europe. Having been rescued as a baby bird by a man with a beard, Alice loves men with facial hair, and took to me right away. She’s noisy, as birds tend to be, and every sound I would make in her presence she would instantly answer with a loud chirp, so instantaneously that we were practically in sync. Wayne has a piece for bass clarinet and tape called Jackdaw, heavily laced with samples of Alice’s singing. And here she and I are together (that sliding glass door is open, and sometimes she goes out for a spin, but always comes back):


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  1. Brad Campbell says

    Do you have any way to contact Wayne Siegel or get the tape part to this piece? I would like to play it on a lecture recital and could find the sheet music published online but not the tape accompaniment. Thank you.

    KG replies: Contact me via my web page at and I’ll send you his e-mail.