Friday, March 30, 2007

Birdsong Soundscapes for the Concert Stage and Lecture Hall

At last night's monthly meeting of the Urner Ornithological Club, one of the oldest birding clubs in NJ, member Andrew Lamy gave a wonderful presentation on a project he's working on. Andy is an accomplished clarinetist and ornithologist. He studies bird song using his knowledge of music and birds. He's particularly focused on Africa and has done many recordings there. Most recently, with the help of a grant, he and a team of scientists and musicians went to South Africa and recorded the songs of many birds. They also recorded a dawn chorus from the overgrown sand dunes of the Saint Lucia area of South Africa. Andy's goal is to present the bird song "in concert, artfully adding layers of musical interplay by instrumentalists positioned around the audience in unobtrusive ways." He played samples of the songs for us yesterday on CD and also played along with a multitude of instruments. His ability to mimic bird song with a variety of whistles, percussion instruments, his clarinet, and even his voice was astounding. I'm sorry I didn't have my camera with me. He's adapting the program to be presented to children as well as adults. Check out his web site if you get a chance.

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