Aerial Aria in the aviary
Piece commissioned for The Engine Room
“Aerial Aria in the aviary” is an FM transmitter installation using my collection of vintage and retro radios playing a 4 channel composition, exhibited in a room that resembles a kind of walkthrough bird house at the zoo.
Given the musical heritage of Morley College, I wanted to explore a music related theme, and was intrigued to discover an opera called The Perfect Fool, written by Gustav Holst while he was head of the music course in 1923. This was a rather tongue in cheek opera that was never performed. It examined the cultural divide between high and low culture, and was often a parody, sampling Wagner, Verdi, and Debussy. I did some vocal resampling from that opera, along with a flock of other famous operatic warblers. I helped them all to sing tiny phrases higher and faster, which in turn crafted a complex sonic aviary full of Aria Birds. Underscoring the new songs with many layers of subtle nature recordings, I have composed an eternal dawn chorus.