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Imaginary Aviary - A musical performance incorporating speculative ornithology

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posted on 2024-03-18, 05:33 authored by Vanessa TomlinsonVanessa Tomlinson

The Imaginary Aviary is a contribution to speculative ornithology - a consideration of our future-transformed soundscape, and a welcome party for new climate-adapted species. Each performer has composed their future birdsong and birdcalls for their imagined future bird, curated by lead CI Tomlinson. The audience wander through the aviary listening in to these birds as individuals and as a community, contained together in the stairwell of an art gallery (HOTA). This work was presented at HOTA Gallery, Gold Coast, Australia, as part of Bleach* 2023.

  • The birds featured in the Imaginary Aviary World Premiere were:
  • Tara Pattenden – The Bald Tentacled Cockatiel
  • Chris Stover – Restless Wind-Honker
  • Vanessa Tomlinson – Rasping Gerrigone
  • Flora Wong – An unnamed bird
  • Erik Griswold – Yellow-hatted Warbler
  • Peter Knight – Pidgecock
  • Hannah Reardon-Smith - Yellow-Throated Butch
  • Helen Svoboda – Metal Picker
  • Jodie Rottle – Golden Tufted Junkbird

Funding

Placemakers

History

ERA Category

  • Original Creative Work - Musical Composition

Funding type

  • Private funds

Eligible major research output?

  • Yes

Research Statement

Imaginary Aviary is a new meta-composition for any number of mobile musicians, conceived by Vanessa Tomlinson. Commissioned by Bleach Festival (Gold Coast) it was premiered at HOTA Gallery on 05/08/2024, performed by nine musicians. The Imaginary Aviary is a contribution to speculative ornithology - a consideration of our future-transformed soundscape, and a welcome party for new climate-adapted species. Each performer has composed their future birdsong and birdcalls for their imagined future bird. The audience wander through the imaginary aviary listening in to these birds as individuals and as a community, contained together in the stairwell of an art gallery. Tara Pattenden – The Bald Tentacled Cockatiel Chris Stover – Restless Wind-Honker Vanessa Tomlinson – Rasping Gerrigone Flora Wong – An unnamed bird Erik Griswold – Yellow-hatted Warbler Peter Knight – Pidgecock Hannah Reardon-Smith - Yellow-Throated Butch Helen Svoboda – Metal Picker Jodie Rottle – Golden Tufted Junkbird Imaginary Aviary extends Tomlinson’s sound practice into imagined soundscapes – from the past, the present and extending into the future. Closely linked to Sonic Dreams (2017), Imaginary Aviary asks each performer to compose sounds for a climate-adapted future species. The performers construct gestures, costume, name, interactive behaviour and sound content for their species. The audience are free to navigate in and around the nine species as in a large-scale aviary, hearing individual species from different perspectives, and in proximity to one another. Imaginary Aviary is a text score that can be performed in any environment with any number of players. Imaginary Aviary was first commissioned by and premiered as part of Bleach Festival 2023 where it was presented five times during a single day in the HOTA Gallery Stairwell. The work was discussed in Arts Hub, documented by Greg Harm, and will be re-mounted as part of the Harrigan’s Lane Collective 2024 Easter at the Piano Mill program.

Copyright notes

© 2023. This work is covered by copyright. You must assume that re-use is limited to personal use and that permission from the copyright owner must be obtained for all other uses.

Venue

HOTA

Venue address

Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise

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