Project Birdsong - and our ParaChirp
Project Birdsong is an activity where participants record local birds using their smart phones and go on to process the audio to produce three things:
a sound track from which to identify characteristics of the birdsong that identify it as unique (as an individual) cross referencing with other recordings to determine if the bird has a regional accent and then to process the recording as little as possible for the purposes of archiving.
a shared file with international databases such as E-Bird
a sound sample as a starting point for creativity through the use of technology.
Original project - how it all began
We were commissioned to host and facilitate a birdsong project at Brockford Barn. The project involved recording local birds and slowing the sound down by a factor of 10 so that the 'tweet' sounds became audible 'sounds' in the human voice range. The students (non-verbal young adults) were encouraged to mimic these sounds to help them with their speech. Once they learned to mimic the sound we recorded them and played this back at 10x speed so that their voice tracks were indistinguishable from the original bird track. This was great fun!
To facilitate quality recordings Mark created the Parachirp device. A hand held parabolic reflector that utilised a tie clip microphone and eventually through 24 stages of development a modern smart phone.
Time & Space Projects
A typical project has five main outcomes:
assemble and customise the device
process the files
create music using software and your own birdsong recording
Create physical artifacts using laser cutting.
share the files with external organisations