Chorus of sixty 'Aria Birds' created from Operatic warblers
forest branches, fresh cut grass, bamboo and bluebells, feathers, neon wire, glitter.
4 channel FM transmitter, 10 vintage radios.
Given the rich musical heritage of Morley College, I wanted to explore a music related theme for this commission. I was intrigued to discover that while Gustav Holst was head of the music course [1907-1924], he composed a curious Opera called ‘The Perfect Fool’. This was a rather tongue in cheek opera, which critiqued the divide between high and low culture within the arts, and was frequently a stylistic parody, of Wagner, Verdi, and Debussy.
I collected vocal samples from 'The Perfect Fool', along with a flock of other renowned operatic warblers from the last century. By helping them each to sing tiny operatic phrases higher and faster, I have created an audio aviary full of these new 'Aria Birds', which sing within a soundscape of rural recordings from around the world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An eternal dawn of the chorus.
Commission for The Engine Room : International Sound Art Exhibition,
Morley Gallery, 12th May - 12th June, 64 Westminster Bridge Rd, London.