Violinist/composer, zoömusicologist, and ornithologist Hollis Taylor is an ARC Future Fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Previous research fellowships include the Institute for Advanced Study (Berlin), Museum of Natural History (Paris), University of Technology Sydney, and Macquarie University. Her work confronts and revises the study of birdsong, adding the novel reference point of a musician’s trained ear. Taylor performs her (re)compositions of avian songs on violin along with her field recordings, and also rethinks pied butcherbird repertoire for other human instruments and voices. Central to her compositional ethos is the celebration of avian achievements. Recent commissions include from Ensemble Offspring and Musica Viva, and the Australia Council supported her/Jon Rose’s birdsong concerto for recorder, performed by Genevieve Lacey and the Adelaide Symphony, London Sinfonia, and Melbourne Symphony.
In addition to her double CD, Absolute Bird, and monograph, Is Birdsong Music?, her practice takes in sound and radiophonic arts, all celebrating the aesthetic achievements of animals. She is also author of Post Impressions: A Travel Book for Tragic Intellectuals, in which she documented (in text, audio, and video) Jon Rose and herself bowing fences throughout Australia.