Photography: Don Ward
Sparked by the observation of call and answer patterns between birds in the countryside surrounding his Sussex home, composer and artist Ron Geesin’s sound installation is made up of the unique calls of four blackbirds.
As an avid appreciator and collector of classical black jazz, Geesin’s initial attraction to blackbird song was its similarity to an intricate instrumental jazz solo.
Original field recordings of blackbird interaction demonstrated an abundance of varying pitch and rhythm, which led him to record a vast range of songs produced by four male birds over 2 years. The dynamics between these bird sounds and their detailed complexities have been revealed in his composition which includes slowing the playback down in varying degrees.
Consisting of eight speakers, Blackbird Quadralogue has been developed to create a dynamic sensory experience.
Co-commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion and Locus+.
Born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1943, Ron Geesin is a musician and composer noted for his novel applications of sound. He describes his music as “electro-melodic sound-painting”. He is best known as the orchestrator of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother (1970). Geesin has continued to release albums since the 1960s up to the present day. These works include Music from the Body (1970), Magnificent Machines (1988) and Roncycle1 (2011).