Come be a bird at the Songs We Sing Camden,

This week and next the Conceptual class and I will be creating, installing and performing a Songs We Sing project in Camden as part of the Sounds of Camden exhibition at the Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA). The piece concerns the massive species die-off (half of all species of plants and animals may be extinct by the end of this century), and considers a way that we may be able to create a sense of calm and beauty once our companion species are gone.

From Dec.1st to Dec. 8th, the project will be recording people attempting to make the calls of the indigenous birds of Camden. These recordings will then be sampled, randomized and installed on wireless speakers at changing locations on the Rutgers Camden campus, during the last week of classes.

Please join us on Dec. 8th, when project participants gather on the sound stage at the RCCA’s Stedman Gallery, for the Songs Cycle Camden, a live, group-wide, bird call performance. In healthy ecosystems each animal has its own niche, its own acoustic territory, much like instruments in an orchestra. The Songs Cycle performance aims to create a new “natural” soundscape. At the conclusion of the RCCA Songs Cycle, an audio recording of this avianpomorphic happing will be sent to the DigiHuman Lab in the Computer Science Department at Rutgers New Brunswick. Here it will be analyzed using software that has been created to gage habitat biodiversity via animal sounds.

Please come be a bird! Or get one of your instructors to offer extra credit for participating. The project is completely participatory and involves vocalization, installation, computer science, audio art, orchestration, performance and, of course, chance.

To be a bird of Camden: just e-mail your bird of choice (web site below) and a time slot (below) that you are available to record to

1.) Select a bird/bird call from this amazing database of birds here:
(this is on a first come first serve basis, so please e-mail me your top two choices) 

2.) Select and e-mail me the hour below in which you can come by the Art Office to do a 5 minute recording.

12/1 Monday 

9:00AM-10:00AM or 10:00AM-11:00AM 

12/2 Tuesday

9:00AM-10:00AM, 10:00AM-11:00AM or 12:00-1:00PM

12/3 Wednesday

9:00-10:00AM or 10:00AM-11:00AM

12/8 Monday

9:00AM-10:00AM, 10:00AM-11:00AM 

BirdScreen Shot 2014-11-30 at 6.30.16 PM

Wonderful database of the birds of Europe and the Americas. Participants will select a bird from the list at the left and then attempt to mimic the calls of their selected species.

Since 2012 The Songs Cycle has been performed in Amsterdam, Berlin and Marnay sur Seine, France. This project considers the concept of a biotope – small environments shared by humans and other species. According to The naturalist E.O. Wilson, half of the species currently living on Earth will become extinct in the next 100 years. In this new world, we may have to create fictive environments in order to experience a sense of calm and beauty – especially in an urban context.The Songs We Sing is about connecting our ecological moment with our cognitive/behavioral functions. It ponders the lack of human companion species in a postindustrial Western landscape, and offers a possible solution.

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