If the lovely square-format Polaroids featured last Sunday as this site’s “Images of the Week” (disquiet.com) resembled album covers, then this entry should be no surprise. Those images were the work of the active, crafty artist and musician Marc Fischer, who has now shared the sounds of the elegant, vaguely retro birdfeeder-cum-microphone featured in one of the photos. That particular shot now serves as the “cover” for this “release.” This Polaroid looks slightly different than the version posted Sunday — still hazy like a memory, the colors washed out to artful effect, but this time around the birdfeeder is all the more the focus of the picture, thanks to a green highlighted section.
Writes Fischer of the recording:
as promised, here is a sound sample of something that i started working on using recordings that i have collected from the ceramic bird feeder that we have hanging from our front porch. you can really hear the bird’s beaks tapping and pushing the bird seed around inside the feeder. i had set my digital recorder to automatically begin recording when the contact mic picked something up. after two days i had about a hundred samples ranging from 5 to 25 seconds. i have only gone through about thirty of them at this point.
The track provided here (MP3) uses, according to Fischer, 12 of the brief recordings. They’re gathered together above a light, lush electronic bed of sound, like found pebbles wrapped in a piece of velvet. Slight digital effects mix in small, bright sounds that are the aural equivalent of the sun glinting on a camera’s lens.
More on the birdfeeder music in the original post at unrecnow.com/dust. If you live in or near Portland, you might be interested in a workshop that Fischer will be running on the kinds of contact microphones he employed in this project. Details in that same post.