The Rufous-Sided Towhee


The Rufous-Sided Towhee was published in 2003 and it provided me with a learning environment for digital recordings. Most of the recordings were done with less-than-perfect equipment. But the end result is listenable and I hope you enjoy it.

There are two links on this page. The first is for a Zip file called which will unzip, when opened, into fourteen mp3 files, the fourteen tracks on the CD. You can download it by clicking the following link.

Download The Rufous-Sided Towhee CD

Here is the track list for the CD which contains the information below in a convenient format. If you right-click or control-click (Mac) in the link and select Download Linked File or the equivalent for your browser, a pdf file of the track list will download. You may have to let your browser open it first, then save it.

Download Rufous Towhee Track List

If you want to hear an individual song, click its name in the list below.If you want to download it, right-click (or Control-click Mac) and select Download Linked File or Open with iTunes (iTunes will copy it to your Media folder) or the equivalent for your browser.

Track List

1. Lullaby (dd) 3:12: It started as a lullaby but it got away from me.

2. Nicholas Hill (dd) 2:23: Written to celebrate the birth of my nephew, Nicholas Hill.

3. Shades of Green (dd) 1:15: Part of my published collection The Rufous-Sided Towhee: Three Songs for Alto Recorder, Avondale Press.

4. Friends Forever (dd) 3:29: This waltz celebrates the successful transplant of a kidney from my son Jesse to my son Tobias in 1999. The title comes from a poster, by Peter Joyse, they enjoyed as children.

5. The Rufous-Sided Towhee (dd) 1:31: This tune can be played on a whistle or recorder. For this version, I used an alto recorder. It appears with Shades of Green and another piece in the Avondale Press publication.

6. Handhold (dd) 2:07: This tune got me back into writing music in 1989. I taught in the Arts One program at UBC and wrote Handhold because of a suggestion by Tanya Fader, a student in the course.

7. The Irishe Dumpe (anon.) 1:28: This tune is from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a good source of late Elizabethan and Jacobean keyboard music. In the original, the tune has four parts.

8. Killiecrankie (traditional) 1:51: This traditional Scots tune commemorates a battle fought in the Killiecrankie pass in 1689. 

9. The Foggy Dew (traditional) 1:26: This traditional Irish love song was later made into a revolutionary song, but I try to capture the feeling of the original.

10. Together At Last (dd) 3:02: Written for the wedding of Mary Lightly and David Lowe, November 12, 2000. It was performed at the wedding by The Three Davids: Lowe, Donaldson and Sheftel.

11. Lament for Jack (dd) 1:09: Written for my nephew Jack Higgins, who died on June 30, 2000 at the age of twenty-six.

12. Troy's Jig (dd) 1:12: This slow jig was written for the birth of Troy Hill.

13. Thon Buri: Gardens of Peace Brought to us by the Smiling Buddha 3:33: Written by Hans Ulrich Staeps in 1982, this piece is very different from his other works. Originally for recorder, piano, and a few percussion instruments, I arranged it for alto recorder and synthesizer.

14. Jetstream (dd) 3:32: This spooky piece was made with a very short whistle recording that was processed using the computer programs thonk_0+2 and Cubase. thonk_0+2 performs granular synthesis.