Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birds, Humans, Music, Philosophy

Jonathan Rosen's new book "The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature", is a reassuring reflection on the role birds play in the lives of each of us, regardless of whether or not we view ourselves as birdwatchers. Listen to an interview with him on KUOW. Rosen's book was also discussed in an audio essay on NPR by Jacki Lyden in February 2008 and on the Freakonomics blog in April 2007. Several musicians have worked extensively with birds, both to analyse their songs and compare them to human music. One is David Hindley of Great Britain. Another is a flutist whose name I cannot think of who has composed pieces, played them around birds, and listened to and recorded how birds responded to his music and made changes and contributions of their own. Rosen believes that birds allow us all (especially urbanites) to tap into the rhythms of unfettered wilderness.
Photo by Jennifer Griffiths. Goliath Heron, Lucia Lake, South Africa

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