John Alexander writes: 'This piece, 'all the birds', for double bass and piano, was inspired by the Edward Thomas poem, 'Adelstrop'. In effect, the double bass part is like a setting of the words to that poem, to reflect and convey the prior quiet (if nostalgic) stillness that the impending irreversible change and loss the war would bring to this land and to many people within it. To the fore, the bass tries to sing and sometimes dance through its long arch of song and aching hope. Ever present but always in the misty background, the piano attempts to comment on both the natural world and the easy destruction of life in time of war, whilst holding on to an optimistic notion of survival and repair. It is dedicated to David Heyes with much affection.' all the birds was premiered on Sunday 15 November 2015 at Wells & Mendip Museum (Wells, Somerset) by David Heyes (double bass) and Derek Harris (piano). John Alexander was born in West Sussex in 1942 and began to compose at the age of 20. At the time he discovered a fascination for art, literature, dance, architecture and sculpture and these topics, along with mathematics, have continued to have a bearing on his work. He studied composition with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and later with Jonathan Harvey and Peter Wiegold at the University of Sussex. John Alexander has never been a prolific composer, but an impressive and growing body of work reflects a rare eye for detail and structure - each work beautifully crafted and reworked until every inflection, detail and nuance is perfect. Probably best described as a miniaturist, he writes in a fluent, independent and strongly personal style with an intense desire to create music which communicates to both performer and audience alike. In 1999 John Alexander won the 1st BIBF Composition Contest and was invited to be a judge for several BIBF competitions. He was a featured composer at Bass-Fest 2001, was an spnm short-listed composer for three years, and was Composer-in-residence at the 2004 Rotterdam Conservatoire Double Bass Weekend, Bass-Fest 2006 and 2007 Wells Double Bass Weekend. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout the world and he was written an impressive and unique body of work for double bass.