dawnchorus-smallThis project was made in collaboration with James Nesfield.

The work revolves around birdsong – specifically the dawn chorus, and aims to underline the transient nature of dawn as it makes its way around the globe. I am collecting dawn chorus birdsong from as many countries as possible – these will then be played through the day at times corresponding to dawn at their specific location.

In a gallery setting, the piece will be open to the public for between 8 or 12 hours allowing participants to hear the dawn chorus starting in western europe and then moving across the atlantic and americas as the day progresses – depending on the time of day in which a member of the public arrives he or she will here the dawn chorus from different parts of the world, or none at all if dawn is across an ocean. The work with be broadcast in the space through an array of 16 small speakers at different elevations, recreating the spatial nature of the original, natural recordings. (J. Nesfield 2011)

Screenshot of DawnChorus Program

The Max/MSP program serves to both parse the information gathered regarding the longitudinal position of each audio sample and also play short segments of the audio samples, a process which is determined by both each individual sample’s distance from the current position of dawn and the number of samples currently in the vicinity of dawn. In addition to this the program also automatically records 8 individual audio tracks, one for each speaker in the array, and creates text files recording all of the files which have been played in addition to the longitudinal position they were played at.

Concept: James Nesfield

Max/MSP Program: Simon Fay & James Nesfield

Additional Programming, design and manufacture of speaker array: James Nesfield

Field Recordings:  The Cornell Library of Ornithology, Macaulay Library