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Artist makes music with bird dropping
October 14, 2012 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Artist makes music with bird droppings. This BBC report includes probably the most excited reaction to guano in history.
posted by feelinglistless (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
She should put the papers down on my old high school football field. The Canada geese would write symphonies for her.
posted by capricorn at 3:06 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Leaving the too-easy puns to one side, it's interesting hearing the composer talk in this bit. It demonstrates, yet again, how difficult it is to actually introduce genuine chance into the compositional process. That is, you'd think that "let birds poop on some staves and play whatever results!" would be a perfect recipe for genuine chance composition. But then when you're faced with actual bird poop splattered around the staves and you have to choose how to interpret that, suddenly intentionality comes roaring back in. Are you going to interpret that splot that's mostly in the space between the lines but partially on the line as an E or an F? Are you going to that one splattery crap one note or two? Do you decide that the two craps that kinda-sorta line up are simultaneous or a sixteenth-note apart? Etc. etc.

Which is why "chance" music by Composer A always seems to end up sounding rather "Composer A-ish" and "chance" music by Composer B always seems to end up sounding rather "Composer B-ish."
posted by yoink at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


probably the most excited reaction to guano in history.

I beg to differ.
posted by chavenet at 3:38 PM on October 14, 2012 [9 favorites]



probably the most excited reaction to guano in history.

I beg to differ.


Also see: The Guano Islands Act.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 4:00 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Leaving the too-easy puns to one side, it's interesting hearing the composer talk in this bit.

Fair enough but where is the batshit insane tag when you really need it?
posted by hal9k at 4:15 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm! Well, I feel totally redemed now. For my drawing class last year I made a little handmade artist book on the wonders of bird poo as a result of being frustrated by the assignments from the teacher. The topic was "documentation" and despite documenting a pretend idea for an art exhibit (feed a bird a beet, be prepared to be shocked!), I somehow missed the point of the assignment, just as I missed the point of all the assignments. The teacher and my classmates were all confused as to how bird poo could be art, except for one that charitably said I was presenting my every day reality as a pet bird owner. I'm not sure how berries rotting on a tire or rope wrapped around a tree was "documentation" either, but I'm still proud of the little book!
posted by Calzephyr at 4:24 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There was a similar project posted to the blue a while back - art from something totally unrelated to the medium. The sound of a solar flare, perhaps?

I enjoy whimsical things and I see the value in doing things which have uncertain outcomes, but I just don't understand this project at all. There's fundamentally no meaning behind it, and nothing to learn from it other than it's hard to get birds to shit on your piece of paper. If anything, it seems to be an attention-getting device. So in that respect, mission accomplished I guess.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:51 PM on October 14, 2012


See also Al Jourgensen.

He made a Chillis's remix to which he refers to as "Chicken Shit Mix". That was going horrible, so according to Santerian tradition you take a live chicken and it will absorb bad spirits. You then kill this chicken (Al thought this whole thing was pretty pathetic). So they bought in the chicken, didn't kill it, and fed it popcorn, beer and granola.

The chicken (not Al) runs around the studio shitting everywhere. Al simply erased the channelsit shit on! The chicken was put on a podium with a strobe light between two speakers, and it started going to the beat, that's when they knew the mix was done.

posted by St. Sorryass at 5:14 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


These birds don't give a shit.
posted by orme at 5:45 PM on October 14, 2012


Great, another post about shitty music.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:49 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The advert on the BBC website was too long enough. They could've got more birdish results if they spread their scores under trees (or under any rental vehicle that I could arrange). I really liked the little piano they had, that was swell.
posted by ovvl at 6:39 PM on October 14, 2012


Great, another post about shitty music.

Please don't poop on this thread.
posted by carter at 7:04 PM on October 14, 2012


John Cage would love this shit.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:19 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I guess this would NOT be the place to mention that he's an ex-composer then?
posted by Samizdata at 8:24 PM on October 14, 2012


I like this bird chance music piece a bunch.
posted by jonbro at 12:22 AM on October 15, 2012


Hi, just here to make sure enough poop jokes have been dropped in here, and they have!


My work here is done.
posted by Skygazer at 8:20 AM on October 15, 2012


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