for percussion ensemble, poetry, and avian ecoacoustics duration = c. 33’

 

instrumentation:

* 24 plastic egg rattles
* 4 small electric fans with front grill removed
* 8 stiff feathers
* 2 large concert bass drums
* 4 guiros
* 4 snare drums
* 6 ocarinas
* 4 vibraslaps
* 4 flexatones
* 4 cabasa
* keyboard percussion instruments as available:

marimbas, vibraphones, glockenspiels, etc. suggested:

2 marimba (one five-octave) 2 vibraphone
2 glockenspiel
piano

* voice percussion and spoken word
* two channel concert sound with subwoofer
* third channel, smaller speaker center front stage (the third channel is used for special spatial effects and small, localized sounds)

 

In eight movements:

1) Songscape Anthrophony
for egg rattles, dawn bird chorus, distorted birdsong, and bass drums 4:00

2) Aeolian Poetics
for poetry, vocal percussion, feathers, fans, ocarinas, and bass drums 4:30

3) Avian Telemetry
for snare drums, keyboard percussion and electronics 3:30

4) Transliteration 1: Song Thrush
for poetry, data sonification and flexatones 3:00

5) Transliteration 2: Ecologies of Sound in Nature Cultures for sonifications, keyboard percussion and guiros

a) Biophony (24 hours in Summer & Winter)

b) Anthrophony (24 hours in Summer & Winter)
6:00 c) Biophony + Anthrophony (24 hours in Summer & Winter)

6) Transliteration 3: Skylark
for percussion, poetry and processed field recordings 3:45

7) Transliteration 4: Landrail
for poetry, guiros, cabasas, vibraslaps 2:00

8) Birds: Why Are Ye Silent?
for poetry, percussion, and airplane field recording 6:00

 

Avian Telemetry (2018) was commissioned by the Shi Center for Sustainability for the Furman Percussion Ensemble as part of a birdsong collaboration with John Quinn (biology), Michele Speitz (English literature) and Omar Carmenates (percussion). The musical composition brings together current research on avian biology, soundscape ecology, romantic-period British poetry, ecoacoustic music, and avant-garde percussion performance. The piece uses various forms of measurement procedures and transliteration devices to explore human-nature interaction through a focus on birdsong. These “telemetries” include field recordings, musical transcriptions of environmental sound, sonifications of scientific data about bird habitat and behavior, and readings of romantic poetry employing mimesis of birdsong. Further, the piece employs second order transliterations, treating each of these modes of telemetry as a source for further remapping. For example, a sn