My current (re)compositions all celebrate the vocalizations of the pied butcherbird.

string quartets:


Pied Butcherbird Suite

works for solo violin and field recordings:

Bowen at N'Dhala Gate

Briar Ridge

Brisbane Forest Park—Waterworks Road

Duaringa Traffic


Night Shift

Ormiston Gorge Coda

Riffingbirds 1-4



Song Maps: Alice Springs

Trailer Park Trash



recent pied butcherbird-based works with Jon Rose:

Amadeus 2016 for bassoon

Binn's Track 2016 for flute

Bitter Springs Creek 2014 for flute, bass clarinet, and vibraphone

Burleigh Heads 2010-2013 for tenor saxophone

Cameron Road 2014 for clarinet

Charters Towers: Dalrymple 2013 for marimba

Erija 2016 for guitar

Midway Van Park 2013 for piano

Mount Surprise Station 2016 for viola

Owen Springs Reserve 2014 for marimba

Owen Springs Reserve 2016 for double bass

Palm Ragonesi 2014 for tuba

Palm Ragonesi 2016 for oboe

Petrick Road 2014 for trombone

The Salt Evaporator 2017 for violin

other pied butcherbird-based works*:

Banana Paper for bass

Black and White Miniatures for toy piano and video

Cumberdeen Dam V & T for solo bassoon

Gowrie Creek for bass

Lamington Plateau for flute

Ormiston Gorge: A Canonic Manipulation for bass

The Bass of Broken Hill for bass

     * This portfolio won the APRA 2009 composition prize.

My earlier works focus on issues of rhythm and bowing, from dance forms and compound meter to how classical players can appropriate extended techniques from other music genres.

The beauty and structural ingenuity of the melodies unfold through the bodies of the musicians re-sounding the transcriptions—each inevitably bringing something of their own art to the project. In this re-sounding there are clearly compositional and interpretive decisions to make—a violin, vibraphone, flute, choir, bassoon or double bass are not pied butcherbirds, and in the attempt to mimic the melodies on instruments, there is transformation of the material—it enters the human realm. Hollis has become a medium—her sustained forensic listening has opened up a wormhole to another world. There are wonderful performances from the human musicians, but when Hollis fiddles the transcriptions herself, the parallel worlds collapse into one. She has allowed herself to be taught by these avian maestros, and her mimicry is full of love and understanding.--Jim Denley, Resonate Magazine, Australian Music Centre.

other works:

Infidel (2006, compositions and arrangements of American fiddle repertoire set in radical new sonic environments)

Groove Theory, Concerto for Violin, Strings, Harpsichord, and Percussion (2001, commissioned by Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra; funded by major grants from the American Composers Forum and Meet the Composer)

The Crawl Ball for Two Violins, Bass, and Percussion (1998, commissioned by Monica Huggett)

Box Set for Solo Violin in eight movements (1997, a re-take of the J. S. Bach Partita #1 for Solo Violin in B minor, composed while in residency at Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic)

Trail Mix for Solo Scordatura Violins in five movements (1997; 2000 First Prize, National League of American PEN Women Composition Contest)

Unsquare Dances for string duo, trio, and quartet (1996)

OWEN SPRINGS RESERVE 2014 for vibraphone and field recording

Claire Edwardes, vibraphone; excerpt.

GREEN LAKE, VICTORIA for soprano recorder and field recording

Genevieve Lacey, recorder; excerpt.


Genevieve Lacey, recorder, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; excerpt.

works for six-part vocal ensemble and field recordings:

Absolute Bird for vocal ensemble, a five-movement song cycle: Racecourse: Alice Springs, Ten Hockets: Bribie Island, Roe Creek Flow, Six Antiphons: Bribie Island, and Madigan 1, 2, 3: Alice Springs, commissioned by The Song Company with a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts.

works for recorders and field recordings:

Absolute Bird: Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra (2017) was commissioned by virtuoso Genevieve Lacey and premiered by Lacey and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. She also commissioned a set of solo works with field recordings: Green Lake, Victoria; Emily and Jessie Gaps, Alice Springs: Gosse @ Sturt, Hugh River, Georges Six, Ormiston Gorge, Alice Springs: Palm @ Ragonesi, Ross River, and Hall's Creek. Both commissions were supported by grants from the Australia Council for the Arts. Audio excerpts below.

SONG MAP 3 for violin and field recording

Hollis Taylor, violin; excerpt.

TRAILER PARK TRASH for violin and field recording

Hollis Taylor, violin; excerpt.