Michael Dervan
The Irish Times
April 2015

Dubliner William Hamilton Bird was known to the Bengal Calendar and Register of 1790 as a 'conductor of public amusements'.

He seems to have been an indefatigable concert promoter. He published his Oriental Miscellany for harpsichord in Calcutta in 1789.

It’s a collection of 'Airs of Hindoostan', classified as Rekhtahs, Teranas, Tuppahs, and Raagnies, the various styles being adapted and regularised for European taste.

It’s a fascinating collection, and Jane Chapman uses the nasality available from her Kirckman harpsichord to suggest the drones of some of the original to great effect.

She also includes a sonata for flute (Yu-Wei Hu) in which the enterprising Bird fused East and West.

The Irish Times