Bird Park Sessions

Bird Park Sessions
multi-species soundscapes, 2020

This album will be published in the winter 2020 edition of BC Studies journal as part of their Soundworks publication series.

The Bird Park Sessions is an album of soundscapes composed from field recordings of specific moments in local spaces. I began the project with listening to and recording the goldfinches and elms in Woodland Park, Vancouver, and then followed the calls of other birds who told their own stories of place across southern British Columbia.

I used simple editing techniques on the field recordings into create listening experiences that depicted the realism of that location, such as how a towhee at Okanagan Lake changed the phrasing of their song with the sound of an approaching vehicle on the highway, or how a single bird call pierced the sonic intensity of wind and waves at Nicola Lake. Two of soundscapes include electronic interventions. Woodland Park Sparrow and Sirens has a synth track I produced that blends with a recording of the birds calling along with the Vancouver port and police sirens. The most ‘composed’ soundscape is Bird Park, an arrangement of clips from the Bird Park Survival Station, a multi-species art project, built on the roof of my home in the east side of Vancouver, that provides affordances to local and migratory birds — fresh water, small amounts of food, caching and perching features, trees, plants and flowers — to help them survive the climate emergency. Bird Park, the soundscape, includes contact mic recordings of the local birds using the water dishes and the perching affordances in the Station.

The recordings for the Bird Park Sessions were created using a Rode NT-SF1 Ambisonic microphone and Mixpre 6 field recorder, edited to create binaural listening experiences.