Nonexistent Birds and The Songs They Love to Sing

‘Nonexistent birds and the songs they love to sing’ is a spatial sound installation consisting of ten birds sculpted through sound and paint. All sound synthesised by Mitchel van Dinther (Jameszoo). All paintings by Philip Akkerman.

The Curved Beak Hatted Egret is known for its flute-like call, being able to subtly and precisely change the pitch and tremolo of their warbles. When in groups they take turns to sing their songs.


The Green Freighter only has two types of calls. When taking off and landing it makes a monotonous alarm-like sound, somewhat reminiscent of a truck reversing. Then just before sleeping they will quack a short song consisting of patterns always repeating the same pitch multiple times.


A Packard makes a long monotonous buzz just once every few hours. Almost as if testing the syrinx making sure it still works.


The Bootcut Bumper has a raspy long duck-like quack constantly changing in length and pitch. Some say it strongly reminds of someone manicially laughing.


The Wee Genie’s call is high pitched, short, and it almost always repeats itself six times with the last chirp being slightly delayed from the other five.


Flying Flounders can at the same time change the color of their feathers and the color of their timbre. Their calls are short, plucky and constantly shifting between square, round and saw-like.


Little is known of the sound a Fool Parrot makes. Some believe it refuses to make any sound at all, whilst others say the sound it produces is strangely close to one of a human simply chatting.


The Lockheed Crow uses its vocals to be able to coordinate while flying together in intricate patterns. The techniques they use consist of rapidly opening and closing the bill and singing in pitches that appear to be related to the coordinates they are headed towards. In the evening whilst stationary they rehearse for their next flight.

This program is part of Telephone


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