Gordon Hamilton / composer

composer / conductor

composer / conductor

The Ugly Sound: A retelling of 'The Ugly Duckling'

View the score | Hire parts

A re-imagining of ‘The Ugly Duckling’, in which all the characters are sounds, not animals! The Ugly Sound goes through life facing rejection. All of the other sounds are more beautiful and popular: some have rhythm, others melody, harmony and colour which make them appealing. Dejected, the Ugly Sound runs away, believing it can never fit in. Along its journey, the story helps unravel the internal features of the sound, letting us hear it from different angles. The Ugly Sound transforms into a beautiful, mature version of itself… a swan! The piece contains a positive message about self-esteem and openness to unfamiliar sounds. 

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View the score – – hp. 1pc. – narrator – str. (

Music by Gordon Hamilton. Words by Gordon Hamilton and Tali Kellam-Pearson.

Commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The above recording is the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gregory Stephens with narrator Bryony Geeves.