Arts Council Collection


Marcus Coates Dawn Chorus

© the artist. Marcus Coates, Dawn Chorus (detail)
Marcus Coates, Dawn Chorus
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
21 March - 12 May 2012
Dawn Chorus, by Marcus Coates, uses unique digital methods to explore the relationship between birdsong and the human voice, drawing out similarities between the behaviour of birds and humans.
Working with wildlife sound recordist Geoff Sample, Coates placed 14 microphones around woodland to record birdsong early one morning in Northumberland. From this multi-track recording, each song was slowed down up to 16 times. Human participants copied this slowed down song, filmed in their everyday surroundings including an underground car-park, an osteopathic clinic and a bath-tub. The resulting video footage was then speeded up, returning the bird mimicry into its ‘real' register.
Coates' installation is, he feels, quintessentially British, because of our attachment to wildlife. "It's outside the human lifestyle because we get up too late," he says. "I wanted to create something you could experience again and again."