theharshnoiselevelofbirds and Radiation, Its Legal!
by Bird Hansen
For my project I did a lot of research in sound art and plunderphonics as inspiration for the harshbirds synth and the sound itself. Specifically I looked at John Cage’s Bird Cage piece as well as his piece Water Walk (shown here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yybn6iKmYdQ), The idea was to have a project that involved not only audience interaction with the installation but interaction as a performer going between various machines for both the audio and visual aspects of the performance. Cage’s compositions involve a lot of precise timing and movements, something I wanted for this installation to make sure that any perceived chaos was simply perceived. In addition I wanted to utilize space the way Cage did, with everything deliberately placed not just for aesthetic but also for purpose, so that things are placed in relation to how they are to be used. This was what inspired the bird’s nest look of the installation, things were working from the center outward and could all be easily accessed from a single spot, something I needed due to the chronic pain in my leg.
The other main research happened in looking through multiple online databases of endangered birds, focusing on north american birds that have distinct calls. I settled on 24, one for each key of my MIDI controller. I also wanted to showcase how the majority of Hawaii’s native birds are endangered by creating a whole section of the piece and the keyboard that was wholly created with the songs of hawaiian birds.
Video from inside the “Birds Nest”