All 2 entries tagged Birdsong
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July 04, 2006
He was, I immediately understood, a researcher from a television production company. They are in the early stages of developing a documentary about birdsong. It seems that they are interested in questions concerning the role of birdsong in art and music. The very interesting David Rothenberg provides the starting point, but the researchers are discovering many connections, including Paul Klee's twittering machine, Deleuze and Guattari's Of The Refrain, Olivier Messiaen, and of course that magnificent song cycle Aerial by Kate Bush.
So, TV researcher, what then is your method? Try these Google searches and instantly see the power of Warwick Blogs:
The interview was fascinating. He asked about birdsong and philosophy. I talked about Of The Refrain and the role of sound, rhythm and birdsong in D&G's philosophy. He asked the big question: do birds sometimes sing just for pleasure (yes was my answer, but justified by an argument concerning the limits of biological functionalism and the drivers behind evolution). I talked about nocturnal birdsong as a penetrating a–visual deterritorialized refrain, and how the refrain works as a minimal and portable germ of territory carried across night and day (and how that idea drives Aerial).
All of these ideas I have developed in my blog. Some of these ideas may soon in some small way help to shape a television documentary that promises to be fascinating. All because I use Warwick Blogs.
December 25, 2005
“I was also trying to draw a comparison between the two languages—it struck me that laughter has got this sort of connection [with] the shapes and patterns and songs of birdsong.”
Having spent the day with a 4 month old boy, i get the point (extraordinary laughter, crying, all kinds of vocal modulation, stutterings, explosions, murmurs – primitive and expressive).
Here’s some notes on this connection…
1) flows interrupted and modulated (into rhythm, and recursively into rhythm interrupted). Laughter is a breakdown in functional discourse. The breakdown often occurs in tandem, or in mass, but with no goal other than the breakdown itself. Similarly, in song the birds break from their productive tasks (contrary to popular belief, birds often sing without the goal of attracting a mate or establishing a territory).
2) the body as an instrument to produce the flow and its modulation and breakdown. Minimal, personal, portable, irrepresible. Requiring neither technical nor social apparatus in support. Even operational when little else remains. But at the same time may act as a trigger to others, connecting up distant unknown bodies in the darkness, penetrating barriers. Or at the least, echoing back to the body of origin, providing a point in time to which a subsequent response can be made. The “refrain” of A Thousand Plateaus.
3) refinement, the emergence of styles (one body/voice refining itself, or a flock of bodies and voices). But always guarding and retaining the closeness to the body. Portability and reconstruction from near zero conditions, but open to connections and forming trigger response partnerships beyond the body.