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‘A conversation across time and space’: the power of birdsong

The Guardian – Musician Cosmo Sheldrake is on a mission to highlight the loss of UK birdlife with an album of avian chatter: “…Birds live on a different time axis,” says 30-year-old Sheldrake. “There’s a spectrum of relationships with time – we look at birds and think they’re very ‘other’, but when you slow their song down, you get an idea of the tapestry of what they’re saying and they sound strangely human. These are very subtle, integrated phrases that we miss when they’re singing at their normal speed.” And so these little characters and conversations have been pieced together in an album that follows the natural acoustics of the day; it starts with a nightjar, which sings just after dusk and through the night, then goes to a nightingale, and then the dawn chorus, before working its way through the day. A chord can be composed of five or six different aspects of a song played simultaneously. Tracks are based on sounds that already exist and have their own identity and character. “It’s a collaboration,” says Sheldrake, “except without explicit consent from the birds.”…

Also Listen to: Why should we listen to birds? (part one) – podcast

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