[NetBehaviour] Blackbird sonic environment

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Mar 20 14:49:06 CET 2020

Blackbird sonic environment

http://www.alansondheim.org/P1100442.JPG red-wing blackbird
http://www.alansondheim.org/blackbird2oct.mp3 2 octaves lower
http://www.alansondheim.org/P1100454.JPG red-wind environment

The complex variety and temporal spacing of red-wing blackbird
calls are fascinating; I do believe there is a language, a
semantics, we do not understand. The recording was done in a
thicket near a path in a reservoir area in Aurora, Colorado. I
used a Zoom H4n placed among the foliage; it's the first
recording. The second is simply lowering the first two octaves.
There is wind noise, the sound of a metal chime in someone's
backyard, etc. But the acoustic environment is as clear as I
could make it. I hope to record again before we leave Colorado
in six days. I hope for better weather; at the moment there is
a blizzard and whiteout in the area.

This, and the amazing activity of thousands of sandhill cranes
earlier in central Nebraska, gives me hope, a worlds opening
all around us, epiphanies. The recordings are important, however
amateurish; they give room for contemplation, for meditation far
enough away from talk of epidemics that a form of perspective
develops, not quite healing, but closer. Otherwise plague chases
us, we succumb to the anxiety and skewed irreal reflection of a
real that seems both untoward fantasm, and lost.

Some of the calls we can decipher, some of them are deceptively
simple, all except for the timing and length of the notes. We do
that in morse - dots and dashes, everything similar, reducible
to just a few intervals - but we might not hear it in everyday
speech, our long and short vowels and consonants a pale

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