Islay Geese Make Jazz

When you've seen and heard the geese in the wintertime on Islay you probably never forget the sound they make make when thousands of these beautiful birds take off at the same time. It's a unique sound and two composers visited Islay in the winter and they are trying to turn the geese and other bird sounds into jazz music. A quote from the Scotsman: "The music, inspired by the sound of tens of thousands of wild geese preparing to migrate from Islay to their arctic breeding grounds, will be given its world premiere at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival next month. Jazz composers and musicians Stu Brown from Glasgow and New York-based John Hollenbeck travelled to Islay in the Southern Hebrides to listen to the geese and other birds before creating a jazz suite aimed at attracting a wider audience to jazz."

The RSPB write on their website: "One half of the duo, Stu Brown commented: “Being on Islay was a stunning experience. There were so many different natural sounds all around us constantly, the music just sprang to life from that. “I was particularly inspired by the sounds created by thousands of barnacle geese all calling together, which produced these complex polyrhythms, and the lapwings with their almost electronic calls.” Stu and John were shown around the reserve by RSPB site manager James How, who helped them locate different species of birds for their recordings, including geese, rooks, oyster catchers and choughs, a rare species of crow found in the western fringes of the Britain Isles. They even caught sight of a solitary egret, the only one on the island." In case you haven't seen or heard the geese on Islay I can recommend one of my video's below:

On Sunday the 8th of August Stu and John along with Theo Blackman (vocals), Julian Arguelles and Jorrit Dijkstra (saxes), Gary Versace and Paul Harrison (keys) will premier the music that was inspired by the bird song. They will also be taking some of the music outdoors at Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens that afternoon. Hopefully the local bird life will join in. Naturally Inspired Concert World Premier 8th August The Hub, Edinburgh, 8.30pm Tickets £12.50 available from 0131 473 2000 and

Tag: geese music jazz