Continuumix #8 – The Tweeters Parade
Total time 62:45
Mix & paper-cutting by Continuo
/ / / / / T R A C K L I S T / / / / /
Marcus Coates Yellow Hammer imitation. In his 2007 film Dawn Chorus, British artist and birder Marcus Coates makes people sing bird songs at low speed, then speed it up to reveal the potential bird in the human voice. In this excerpt, from The Guardian, he demonstrates the process.
The Japanese 2008 Moonbell Project interprets topographical lunar data transmitted by lunar orbiter Kaguya during the 2007 SELENE lunar mission explorer, into MIDI sounds. Whatever the math, the results sound wonderful, as this excerpt amply demonstrates. This is sample #6 from the Moonbell official homepage (bottom of the page).
British Song Thrush recorded in Dorset, UK, 2008, by YouTube user and animal photographer Richard Austin.
DJ Ordeal Birdwatching. Very ironical mashup of bird songs, Chinese bird market recordings and any kind of loops and manipulation of (not necessarily pleasant) bird sounds. From the DJ Ordeal-curated, 2010 compilation cassette on Entr’acte (#E87), also including tracks by Deepkiss 720 and Vitamin B12, a.o.
Ergo Phizmiz The Cassowary. Emblematic song from Chunk #4 of The Faust Cycle, completed 2010. Not much a song about birds as such, but the whole 3-hour mix is a fantastic contribution to bird music. Free release on Headphonica.
Song of The Sablaran. From Xamanismo, a page dedicated to Brazilian avifauna. The link in the Aves section says: Sablaran – Canto de Sabia, yet I couldn’t precisely identify the bird.
Agencement Untitled. An excerpt from side A of Agencement’s first LP (Pico 01, 1986), posted by Stalking Duppi. Hideaki Shimada’s violin bow remarkably sounds like a bird erratically hopping on the strings. Almost as if the bow was a bird, in fact. A striking occurrence of devenir-oiseau (becoming-bird) – a term Gilles Deleuze coined to describe the hands of a pianist playing Liszt, as opposed to devenir-insecte (becoming-insect), his interpretation of Xenakis’ music.
Jean Wiener Concerto pour Rossignol et Orchestre (or Concerto for Nightingale and Orchestra), from the soundtrack to Julien Duvivier’s film Voici Le Temps Des Assassins, 1956. The music, mixing a chamber ensemble with a bird recording, was exhumed by Jean Laroche from a radio broadcast. French pianist and composer, Wiener (1896-1982) is famous for his live performances in Paris between the wars, mixing classical music, jazz and improvisation. He premiered many works by Poulenc, Stravinski and Schönberg, ao. He was once asked to create an electronic version of Erik Satie’s Parade (probably for Ondes Martenot), which sadly never materialized.
Pigeon whistles recorded by Fausto Caceres. Recorded in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in the northwest side of China, where Caceres lived for 2 years, as documented on his blog. Equipping flock of pigeons with whistles is a very ancient Chinese tradition (see also here).
Dave Sag Plane. A programmer, photographer and occasional composer, Brisbane-based Dave Sag used sounds from an answering machine, a modem connecting, wine glasses and processed pelican cries to create this electroacosutic composition. Sag calls the method he used “an experiment in fractal music making”. Also included in September Mix, an Australian Experimental Music mix by Anbis (aka Andrew Bishop) on SoundCloud.
Joji Yuasa Music For The Main Pavilion Of The Okinawa Oceanic Expo, 1975, from the Omega Point CD. Joji Yuasa, born 1929, was a member of the Jikken-kobo experimental music workshop founded 1951 with Takemitsu and Akiyama. He joined TranSonic in 1972 with Ichiyanagi, Matsudaïra and Takemitsu. Music For The Main Pavilion is a colorful mix of indigenous birds, shamisen, Okinawan folk traditional, and orchestral music with accordion. The sounds intermingle in a dreamy and silky way, as in a stream-of-consciousness experience. [Thanks to Rainier for the suggestion]
Inuits imitating the cries of geese, from the Inuit Games and Songs Unesco CD, hosted on Ubuweb’s Ethnopoetics sound archive. Animal imitation is a practice resorting to shamanism among Inuits. Note how the singers focus on rhythm and two tone melodies.
Basil Kirchin Charcoal Sketch #3. From the unreleased 1970 jazz sessions published by Trunk Records, 2004. Heavy tape manipulations of bird songs recorded in Switzerland by Kirchin.
John Hudak Miss Dove Mr Dove. Radically, electronically processed dove recordings, originally intended as background music by Hudak, but actually worth focusing on sonic details and minute variations. Evoking P.B. Shelley‘s “profuse strains of unpremeditated art”, as the poet described the singing skylark, this magical music rather blurs the line between organic and artificial sounds. Excerpt from the CD released by Afe Records, 2008.
DJ Ordeal Seagulls. Ordeal’s obsession with birds is also well represented on the excellent Sea/Seagulls LP (Entr’acte E39, 2006). On Seagulls, Ordeal uses grotesque tape manipulations of human voices to produce vaguely resembling gull cries.
Konrad Sprenger Palendina. Multi-tracked tuba (or trombone) solo music from German composer Sprenger. From the gorgeous Versprochen, 2009 LP on Schoolmap. The album also has some bird recordings (Blinder Fleck), not included here.
Walter Marchetti The Bird of Paradise. A 20mn piece for various birdcalls recorded in 1997 in Milan. From the Alga Marghen one-sided LP, 2001.
Mother Mallard Anatidae 2a. Duck sounds (what else?) from David Borden’s Mother Mallard Anatidae 1985 LP on Cuneiform. David Torn is on guitar, Les Thimmig on saxophone, Borden on synth.
Boris Ivanovich Tischenko “The Window” (from Three Songs to Verses by Marina Tsvetayeva, Op. 48, 1970). Marina Karpechenko, soprano, with Daniil Kopylov, piano. A Chostakovich’s student, Tischenko (born 1939) composes symphonic, chamber and piano pieces. Tsvetayeva’s poem goes like this:
In the sweet, Atlantic
Breathing of spring
My curtain’s like a butterfly,
Like a Hindu widow
To a pyre’s golden blaze,
Like a drowsy Naiad
To past-window seas.