All the songs in The Voice of Desire
are conversations between humans and birds. In each case, the birds seem to have a more sophisticated viewpoint that their human hearers.
One of the highlights is Written On Terrestrial Things, set in a dead landscape at the dead of winter. Suddenly a joyus thrush melody breaks out, it's ecstatic expression is completely at odds with human perceptions of such a dismal evening, has nature something to remind us, if only we'd listen.
The song cycle was commissioned by the BBC for Alice Coote, and first performed by her and Julius Drake (piano) in a BBC Proms Chamber Music concert in London on 11 August 2003.