Commissioned and premiered by Phoebe Smithies on french horn with Peter de Jager on piano, the two performed with their ensemble Salon Project as part of the concert Music, She Wrote 2.0 hosted by Prom Recitals at Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre. Instinct takes inspiration from the incredible occurrence that is long-distance bird migration. Having evolved over thousands of years, long-distance bird migration is triggered by a combination of genetic predisposition, food, temperature, and day length. To find their way halfway round the world, birds are thought to use three types of compasses: sun, star, and magnetic. These three elements inform the musical themes in this work.
Along with Instinct they performed works by five other women composers: Amy Beach, Nadia Boulanger, Lucija Garutha, Elena Kats-Chernin and Fanny Mendelssohn. Salon Project posted, “We received a very warm welcome and the audience seemed to really enjoy our concert. We loved meeting the audience after the concert – what a lovely community of music lovers in prom country!”