Exquisite Bird: UChicago Composers collaboratively create new work

Exquisite Bird by Wassily Kandinsky

In an embrace of the virtual circumstances the University community and world were thrust into this spring, UChicago composers together wrote a new work – collaboratively. "Exquisite Bird," inspired by Kandinsky's The Bird and based on "exquisite corpse" mode of artistic creation, was premiered this week by percussionist John Corkill, and it is dedicated to Assistant Professor Anthony Cheung, who begins a new appointment at Brown University next Fall.

EXQUISITE BIRD is the result of an “exquisite corpse” collaboration - a method by which a collection of words, images or sounds is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, by being allowed to see only what the previous person contributed.

This technique was invented by surrealists and is similar to an old  parlor game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution.

View the score