Aviary

The disruptive sound of the jet engine rips through the sky, drowning out nature’s chorus as it welcomes the dawn. As the streets come to life and the buzz of traffic and sirens swallows our audio landscape, the singing is pushed into the background and we march on, busy in our own lives and lost in our thoughts. Emerging from the gaps between the constant stream of noise created by our metal machines is the enriching sound of birdsong.

I decided to create a sonic representation of this wonderful soundscape, because as I worked from my studio I realised that the sound I heard in between the drones of human existence gave me great pleasure and the more I honed in on nature, the more I realised the importance of co-existence.
Sometimes you just have to run with an idea and see where it takes you. One morning I thought about how I would reinterpret this urban landscape, so I got a recording and set to work.

In the canopy of trees, the hedgerows and rooftops are a diverse species calling out to one another, living together, trying to survive in a world that is dominated by us.

They fill the spaces between the machines.

 

The instinctive cries of our feathered friends acts as a reminder that life’s struggles extend beyond our own and if we are truly to survive, we must do it together. The beauty of birdsong is that it isn’t immediately apparent where the source of the sound is coming from, but it surrounds us everyday and is a reminder that we are part of this natural world.

The sound creates a picture of abstract communication that transcended its form. The calls from the trees, shrubs and rooftops are the same as our tweets and social rants.

I am here, hear me. There’s danger, there’s food. Look at the sunset, isn’t it beautiful.

 

Creating the sound as a representation gave me a lot of freedom to experiment with how it would look.
Powered by Trapcode Soundkeys I used basic cues for the birds I was recording such as it’s plumage and size, as well as adding in variable to its movement using expressions.

a = thisComp.layer(“Sound Keys”).effect(“Sound Keys”)(“Output 1”);
b = thisComp.layer(“Sound Keys”).effect(“Sound Keys”)(“Output 2”);
c = thisComp.layer(“Sound Keys”).effect(“Sound Keys”)(“Output 3”);

y = a – b + c;
z = (a + b – c)/3;

value – [0,y,z]

Each bird developed it’s own characteristics and the patterns of their movement became more unique.

I plan on creating an AV installation and immersive Aviary using multiple projection…
Stay tuned, update to come soon.

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