Dawn Chorus: Mimesis And Birdsong

Collier, Mike (2019) Dawn Chorus: Mimesis And Birdsong. Platform A, 31 Jan-7 Mar 2019, Middlesbrough, UK.

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Abstract

This exhibition of pictures by Mike Collier and music by Bennett Hogg was initially inspired by listening to a dawn chorus in a Northumberland woodland – a choir of sixteen birds heard early one morning in mid May. Together their songs, represented variously as digitally manipulated sonograms and musical transcriptions, form the basis of this show of screen prints, music and digital prints. Collier approached the experience of the dawn chorus in a number of different ways, collaborating with printmaker Alex Charrington (Charrington Editions), composer and musician Bennett Hogg and natural history sound recordist Geoff Sample. Working from Sample’s sonograms of individual bird recordings, Collier drew a series of notations that bore a superficial resemblance to handwritten “neumes”, a medieval form of musical notation. Together with Charrington, he subsequently developed a patterned palimpsest of sound (Dawn Chorus; 2017 and A Transitional Narrative: 2018). The circular images in The Dawn Chorus (05.00am); 2017, were, again, loosely adapted from Sample’s sonograms as Collier stretched and pulled, squeezed and pinched these visual scientific notations, searching for rhythm, tone, pattern, pitch, colour and melody. Finally, Singing the World: A Dawn Chorus: 03.30am – 05.00am re-presents the individual songs of the sixteen birds in this particular dawn chorus using an onomatopoeic circular form. Just as Collier started with electronic transcriptions that resembled medieval music notation, Hogg took this “found” music and transcribed it into modern notation, and then freely composed a series of pieces in which different birds appear in roughly the same sequence they do in the dawn chorus. Hogg didn’t transcribe the sound of the birds, and so although the music is based on birdsong, it doesn’t try to mimic birdsong, and in this it closely parallels Collier’s approach. Although to a visitor it may not be apparent which piece is being heard, or indeed which birds are ‘present’, the combination of the music and the images is intended to ‘stage’, for want of a better word, an ‘experience’, inside of which we can, of course, make our own connections. Prof Mike Collier is a lecturer, writer, curator and artist based at the University of Sunderland were he runs WALK (Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge), a research centre exploring the way we creatively engage with the world as we walk through it. Dr Bennett Hogg (Newcastle University) is a composer, improviser and cultural theorist. Alex Charrington runs Charrington Editions, a professional, collaborative printmaking studio. Geoff Sample specialises in recording birds and natural soundscapes as fine art and documentary

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: In this show, I approach the experience of the dawn chorus in a number of different ways, collaborating with printmaker Alex Charrington (Charrington Editions), composer and musician Bennett Hogg and natural history sound recordist Geoff Sample. Most of the work here was shown in Oct/Nov 2018 at Drawing Projects UK. Working from Geoff’s sonograms of individual bird recordings, I drew a series of notations that bore a superficial resemblance to handwritten “neumes”, a medieval form of musical notation. Together with Alex, I subsequently developed a patterned palimpsest of sound.
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Art and Design
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Leah Maughan
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2021 15:32
Last Modified: 04 May 2021 16:00
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13272
ORCID for Mike Collier: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4409-0912

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