The birbynė is a traditional instrument found only in Lithuania. It has a single reed attached with a tightly wound string and is typically made out of maple or cherry wood cured in hot oil or resin. The lower end is fitted with a flared cow horn. The most commonly used modern version has ten finger holes and a register key. The bore is neither quite cylindrical nor quite conical, which allows it to overblow at an unprecedented tenth. These physical traits result in an instrument capable of producing a warm rich sound close to a human voice, an Asian flute or the Armenian doudouk, making it well adapted to contemporary compositions.
Arbōs (2015) 9’ by Janis Petraskevics
OCCAM III (2012) 20’ by Eliane Radigue
Day / Light Times (2008) 10’ by Carol Robinson