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Strange Shores: Tales from the Farallon Islands

by Chad Cannon

For clarinet with string quartet.

The Farallon Islands are a set of islands about twenty-five miles off the coast of San Francisco, known for their rugged and dangerous waters and wildlife, and for the huge numbers of seabirds that nest there. Each movement takes its inspiration from poetry by ornithologist and botanist Mitlon S. Ray, who explored the islands on several visits in 1904. Movement 4, Birds, utilizes pre-recorded bird sounds of many species found on the islands: cormorant; common murre; tufted puffin; pigeon guillemot; western gull; rhinoceros auklet; fork-tailed storm petrel; and rock wren (mp3 recording included with concert score purchase).

Performance time: 20 mins

Score available for purchase here.

Farallon Quintet Live at Old First Church in San Francisco:

Read Susan Casey's book about the islands: