Crow Stone Tone Poem

Crow Stone Tone Poem, 2016, 02:08
In collaboration with Simon Lysander Overstall, and a crow

This tone poem is the first project developed through an on-going collaboration with a free-living neighborhood crow. The project is based on Andreyev’s and the crow’s interpersonal play using stones. The stone arrangements generated by this play were experimented with to produce a score.

The crow initiated the collaboration in 2015 when he gifted a small stone in appreciation for a dish of water left by Andreyev on her roof deck. Andreyev responded to the gift by elaborating on it; placing an additional stone in relation to his (see images below). The crow responded to this by rearranging these two stones. An on-going play developed over time where each player created and adapted subsequent stone arrangement. The project Crow Stone Tone Poem explores what it means to play with a crow.

During the processes of generating the project, Andreyev examined the stone arrangements for their potential as a score. Andreyev and Overstall experimented with ways to sonify the arrangements. To do this, they created field recordings of the crow’s calls. Each stone used in the stone-play was assigned a crow call, like a word, to “call” it. Using a theremin, Andreyev played a response to each of the crow’s recorded calls. She used deep listening and biomimicry methods to inform each sonic response. These calls and responses were then arranged in sequence over time based on the stone arrangements. The sequence was processed using computational techniques based on the sonic characteristics of the stones used in the play—granite, sandstone, quartz—to tone the calls and responses with qualities of sound-making through stones. In this way the stones also participated in the production.

Stone arrangements: