Ten Thousand Birds

Be a part of something extraordinary... Triple-Grammy-winning flautist, Tim Munro, joins ANAM musicians in Ten Thousand Birds, an event that blurs the line between performer and spectator.

“The birds were my teachers,” says composer John Luther Adams, whose music is a natural extension of his long-time environmental activism. Birds have inspired composers from Mozart to Messiaen; in Adams’ case, it was hearing the song of a wood thrush for the first time that set him on his path as a composer inspired by the beauty and majesty of the natural world. In Adams’ words, Ten Thousand Birds is not a fixed composition, but “an atlas of musical possibilities for performers to use in creating their own unique realisations of the music.” This ambitious, rarely-performed work – a true musical event – will be led by Tim Munro, ANAM Alumnus and former flautist in contemporary musical supergroup Eighth Blackbird.

Musicians will be scattered around the space and the audience will be at the centre of the performance. According to Munro, there is no “right way” to experience Ten Thousand Birds. Listeners might choose to wander freely among the musicians, stand in one place, find a seat, or lie down to experience this fully immersive musical journey as a dawn chorus gathers, passing into the sounds of dusk, then night. A day ends, then another begins.

JL ADAMS Ten Thousand Birds
     Followed by a Q&A about the music

Tim Munro flute/director
ANAM Musicians



LISTEN TO THE PODCAST Hear ANAM guest artist Tim Munro, composer John Luther Adams and ANAM cellist David Moran talk about their love of birdsong, breaking down performance conventions, and the upcoming performance.

LISTEN TO TIM ON THE MUSIC SHOW ABC Radio National Tim Munro and Ten Thousand Birds
READ THE INTERVIEW Limelight - Ten Thousand Birds flock to South Melbourne Town Hall
READ THE INTERVIEW CutCommon - No score, no guidance for Tim Munro in Ten Thousand Birds 
READ THE BLOG Feathers and Flower Pots - wirtten by Tim Munro

"As an ANAM musician, way, way back in 2005, I would dream of performances that would take over South Melbourne Town Hall, performances where we could almost sort of play the building itself…" - Tim Munro


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- Tim Munro’s ANAM residency is generously supported by Sieglind D’Arcy
- Video by Pia Johnson

Please note: limited seating will be available for this concert (there will be ample standing room)

Duration: approx. 90 minutes 
*Please provide proof of concession if purchasing concession tickets (full time student card or pension card) or proof of eligibility if purchasing Under 30s tickets (includes those aged 30 or younger).


Ten Thousand Birds is a piece made entirely of the sounds of nature. Each birdsong or frog call is notated by the composer, John Luther Adams, but the order of events is left up to the musicians. Tim Munro and the five Artistic Partners featured below will shape the work together. Each Artistic Partner will have control of the order of events in one 10-minute span, and will be an equal contributor to discussions about the look and sound of the whole work.

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