A Lark

A suite of songs about birds and the natural world

running time - 75 minutes. For further information contact info@schwa.space




A Lark came out of discussions about the planet, about the threat to the natural world and about birds in particular, about the quality of birds - their automative charm, their non-mammalian otherness, their ability to bring a landscape alive. This lead on to Silent Spring, the cautionary epistle by environmental scientist Rachel Carson, and also to images of birds - from Audubon to Matt Sewell, to our friend Fabric Lenny - and a further discussion about how to incorporate elements of all this within our peculiar idiom.

The eventual aim is to produce a feature-length performance piece in the style of Threshold - words and music, song, poetry and spoken word - and hopefully to incorporate a visual element in the form of a video installation or maybe live animation.

For now, A Lark comprises settings of poetry about birds, both bird as metaphor and bird itself - Kathleen Jamie, Edward Thomas, birds in folk rhyme and nursery rhyme, and so on. A Lark has been performed in Leeds at East Leeds FM, The Leeds Library and Headingley Literarture Festival, at Holmfirth Arts Festival and and Coastival in Scarborough.


We like to get our audiences involved, whether it be in a singalong or (ideally) helping us to devise some material. In A Lark, we hand out index cards and get everyone to answer a simple question - What Is A Bird? The answers become a piece of the same name, performed towards the end of the set. You never know how people are going to relate to the question and you couldn’t possibly predict some of the answers. Er, it’s a lot of fun, too.