How did the commission for  Night Parrot come about?

Katie Noonan [Artistic Director of Queensland Music Festival] approached me about writing a piece. I’d met her at various things before but we hadn’t worked together and when she mentioned the night parrot I was quite interested and it wasn’t really until I started looking into it a bit more deeply that I realised it had such a fascinating story to it. The next thing was where we were going to find the text, that’s the tricky part. So we looked around at different poets but there wasn’t much. We thought about David Malouf and had all these ideas but nothing jumped out at me so I said well, I’d done an opera piece for the Victorian Opera a couple of years ago where my dad wrote the lyrics. So I set him to work and he spent hours and weeks in the library researching and came back and said this is a bigger story than I realised and it was great so I enlisted him to write the lyrics.

Jessica Wells. Photo supplied

How is your piece inspired by the parrot?

If you listen...