Dawn Chorus, by Marcus Coates, uses unique digital methods to explore the relationship between birdsong and the human voice, drawing out similarities between the behaviour of birds and humans.
Working with wildlife sound recordist Geoff Sample, Coates placed 14 microphones around woodland to record birdsong early one morning in Northumberland. From this multi-track recording, each song was slowed down up to 16 times. Human participants copied this slowed down song, filmed in their everyday surroundings including an underground car-park, an osteopathic clinic and a bath-tub. The resulting video footage was then speeded up, returning the bird mimicry into its ‘real' register.
Coates' installation is, he feels, quintessentially British, because of our attachment to wildlife."It's outside the human lifestyle because we get up too late," he says. "I wanted to create something you could experience again and again."
The artist will give an illustrated talk about his work, in the Arts Centre Cinema at 6pm on Wednesday 21 March. This will be followed by a viewing of Dawn Chorus in Gallery 1; an opportunity to meet the artist informally.
Free, all welcome.
The work was commissioned and produced by Picture This, Bristol and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
Dawn Chorus has been lent by the Arts Council Collection, South Bank Centre, London.