The Birds & The Beats
By Fey Cha and Bird(s)

Started on: 06/09/10 19:33:42
Medium: Music

I have decided to collaborate with birds; specifically the ones in my backyard. My inspiration for this project came from a funny story my friend told me about hearing a parrot that mimicked the sounds of a car alarm. To us, it is amazing to hear a bird reproduce these sirens but to the parrot itís probably just another pattern of sounds. I feel like every day people hear birds chirping but rarely do we actually listen to them because we donít understand it. We hear the sounds of the chirping but take it as that and donít bother look deeper into seeing what those chirps communicate to other birds. To some people the bird chirps may be soothing. To others it may be annoying. But one thing that is true is the fact that what we hear as simple chirps is a form of communication and there is a sense of reason for each and every sound that the birds make. There are birds with a huge vocabulary of chirps but our normal attention span is just too short to notice the many sounds they can make.
In my actual project I plan to record these bird songs and see what I can learn from them. I will use an audio recorder and install it in one of the trees in my backyard and leave it on to record the birds communicating with each other. I am hoping to capture two things. First I want to capture the full songs of the birds that live in that tree. Next I want to capture the conversations between the birds in that tree and any other birds around the area. After getting these sounds I plan to use them to communicate with the birds somehow. I hope this project turns out well.

[Write Comment]
Project Updates
06/09/10 19:41:56 - Now Playing

Since I've been trying to record the birds singing I've noticed the conditions when they will sing. They usually start singing during the evenings around five or six. I assume that's because there is too much noise during the earlier hours of the day or that the birds are out getting food or flying over the ocean somewhere. They sing until eight or sometimes nine. I've also noticed that they start singing in the early morning around four and continue until around ten. They don't sing in the rain nor when it is windy.

[Write Comment]
06/12/10 22:01:00 - Listening

Since I've been recording these birds singing I've become more aware of bird sounds wherever I'm at. When I hear birds tweeting instead of just accepting it as a tweet and then ignoring it I listen to the different tweets and try to listen for patterns, similarities, and any type of communication. It really gets interesting when I get to hear how the different birds chime in with the tweeting. Then I start trying to listen for any similar patterns between the two communicating birds. I try to see if they use the same sounding chirps or if they try to mimic each others pattern of sounds. So far I haven't seen any significant single pattern that the birds use. I have heard the same sounds being used when the two birds are communicating with each other. More listening would help me with figuring out if there is a specific pattern that the birds use.

[Write Comment]
06/13/10 23:15:33 - TweetBeats

So I've finished making the songs from the bird sounds. I took my recordings of the birds singing and chose a couple of sections of the recordings where I had clear bird sounds and used them as the base tracks from which I extracted each tweet. I got each tweet and made a single track out of it so I could use it separately. After getting a good set of tweets I changed the tempo or pitch of the tweets. When I finished that I used a program on my computer to lay out the tracks in a way where it would create music beats. As I was doing that it was fun to see what different types of sounds I could make using the base sound of bird chirps. I was able to create some pretty interesting sounds that sounded nothing like bird tweets. I have made a couple of tracks and here are my two favorite tracks.


[Play Video]
Tweetin' Is A Habit

[Play Video]
Just Tweet It


[Write Comment]