We all know bird songs to be the sweet chirps, cheeps and tweets of our feathered friends singing a playful song. However, what if they were made not only to cheer up the world with their sweet tweets but also to have some hidden talents in their little claws?
French artist, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, was inspired by this idea. He decided to create a space where birds have the opportunity to interact with 14 amplified guitars.
And what talent do these little fellows have? In this space, 70 zebra finches create novel sounds as they flutter, perch, and hop on the strings. Céleste's sound project is titled From Here to Ear, which is as unique as the sounds of the birds.
Boursier-Mougenot turns an area of the gallery into an aviary for the touring exhibition. The 70 birds have plenty of space to fly, nest, and explore as they unknowingly create ambient sound.
Zebra finches are known for their unique sounds and are very vocal with their whistles and calls. When in a room with multiple instruments, their natural sounds are beautifully complemented with the sound they create on the guitar strings.
The sound project is open to visitors who are welcome to walk through the exhibition and experience the sounds from various instruments in the room.
The show has travelled to New York, Paris, Milan, and Montreal to showcase its unique talent. Boursier-Mougenot captured the birds himself for an early version of the exhibition shown in Paris before setting the little performers free after their 10-day performance.
A vet also accompanies the travellers to all the exhibits, checking on the birds every day.
Since he was a child, Boursier-Mougenot always wanted to create the project. "Looking through the window, my feeling was that I want to make music from these birds on the wire. And, 30 years later, I did this."
Admitting to having problems learning to play instruments throughout his life, he wanted to invent his own method for making sound through birds. By allowing the birds to decide where to land and perch, they create a completely unique tune. Boursier-Mougenot explains, "I often say for this piece that I have 'flying fingers.'"