"The anthropologist Paddy Ladd, has written of the Deaf community as 'people whose lives were not motivated by a sadness in not being able to hear birds singing' and it seemed to me that whilst people focus on the concept of hearing 'loss', their sonic environment - particularly natural soundscapes - are disappearing. 'Songbird' unwraps the structures of a natural sound source and presents them in a number of different ways."
Songbird is a sonic/acoustic work that began development during a LabCulture residency at ArtSway, Oct ’02. It was exhibited as an installation within the ‘Re:Thinking Time’ exhibition at Peterborough Digital Arts April-May ‘04. A Shockwave version of the piece as a work-in progress was exhibited on the PVA website from late May ’03. Curator Ele Carpenter interviewed me about this work for Disability Arts Online.
Songbird is an investigation of the relationships between pitch and speed, and their relationship with vibration. Anthropogenic sound generation can engender loss for native fauna – both of habitat and of airspace unpolluted by human sound – and this is developed as a parallel to the convention that deafness constitutes loss. Six core sounds, each filtered by pitch and time, create a framework of thirty, performing continuously within a random interactive structure.