The Jerusalem-based Atar Piano Trio, directed by pianist Ofer Shelley, commissioned a trio, To the Bird from a Distant Land, for their program celebrating the 150th birthday of iconic poet Hayim Bialik. The premiere at Studio Annette was such a great success that they are now recording it! Rather than create a song, I composed a piano trio inspired by his touching poem To the Bird, The bird forms the connecting link from the narrator’s home in the harsher climate of Europe, to the land of Israel, though his location is mentioned only elliptically, and that of the ‘hot land,’ by the reference to Zion. While the narrator nonetheless wonders whether some of the difficulties of his current situation are to be found in hot land as well, the dream of this land, and the hope for a peaceful, welcoming existence there are central. The bird functions as a symbol of Bialik’s flights of imagination.