Extinction Calls

2020
Spatial sound installation
Listening as a mode of reconnecting with the environment

maat – museum of art, architecture and technology, Lisbon, Portugal.
June 10 2020 to January 16 2021

While environments are radically altered by humans, ecosystems are highly affected. Biodiversity loss is one of the major challenges of today. In response to human agency disturbances, species are moving, changing, disappearing. Birds’ populations are shifting rapidly over large areas and some of them are drastically declining. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, there are 164 (known) bird species extinct and 226 critically endangered. Thanks to the wildlife media archive Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its contributors, we can still listen to some of these birds.

The installation Extinction Calls was created with soudscapes composed with audio recordings from the Macaulay Library archive, spatialised all over the museum to offer paths of multiple sonic encounters with extinct and critically endangered bird species. Listening to this diversity of calls and songs, with its rhythmic variations and tonal richness, is an invitation to reconnect with the enchantment of birds’ communication. It is an act of reclaiming the invisible powers of the language of nature, deeply rooted in human beings.

The soundscapes were specifically spatialised in response with maat’s highly reverberant oval space volume and curved walls, along with the architectural intervention Beeline by SO – IL, so as to create a diversity of points of listening to birds and thus enable different sensory experiences (intimate songs, immersive environments, loud calls). From a sonic activism that highlights the global ecological crisis to close interspecies vibratory encounters, this work calls for a shift in the way we relate to our environment towards an ecological intimacy and our innate ability of attunement to the voices of other-than-human.

 

Download the PDF: Extinction Calls – Cláudia Martinho

Watch the conversation Sonic Activism and the Ecological Crisis with Beatrice Leanza (director, maat)

 

Thank you to the Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for kindly licensing the following recordings from the archive:
ML Audio 234837; Palmeria dolei — Akohekohe; 18 May 1980; United States, Hawaii; ; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 62957; Tyrannus cubensis — Giant Kingbird; Feb 2004; Cuba, Guantánamo; advertise, song; Budney, Gregory F.;
ML Audio 231031; Emberiza aureola — Yellow-breasted Bunting; 18 Jun 2017; Russia, Buryatiya, Respublika; song; McGuire, Bob;
ML Audio 231114; Emberiza aureola — Yellow-breasted Bunting; 20 Jun 2017; Russia, Buryatiya, Respublika; song; McGuire, Bob;
ML Audio 168973; Ninox sumbaensis — Least Boobook; 5 Feb 2012; Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara; ; Fehlow, Matthias;
ML Audio 22636; Otus ireneae — Sokoke Scops-Owl; 10 Sep 1971; ; ; Keith, G. Stuart;
ML Audio 229685; Anthochaera phrygia — Regent Honeyeater; 3 Jul 2008; Australia, New South Wales; ; Powys, Vicki;
ML Audio 229684; Anthochaera phrygia — Regent Honeyeater; 3 Jul 2008; Australia, New South Wales; ; Powys, Vicki;
ML Audio 518060; Cacatua sulphurea — Yellow-crested Cockatoo; 25 Dec 2015; Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara; call; DeCicco, Lucas;
ML Audio 518060; Cacatua sulphurea — Yellow-crested Cockatoo; 25 Dec 2015; Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara; call; DeCicco, Lucas;
ML Audio 23605; Leucogeranus leucogeranus — Siberian Crane; 18 Feb 1975; ; emit alarm, fly; Sauey, Ronald T.;
ML Audio 6020; Palmeria dolei — Akohekohe; 10 Aug 1974; United States, Hawaii; advertise, call, song; Shallenberger, Robert J.;
ML Audio 18674; Pithecophaga jefferyi — Philippine Eagle; 10 Mar 1979; Philippines, Cotabato; call, scold; Kennedy, Robert S.;
ML Audio 78013; Cercomacra carbonaria — Rio Branco Antbird; 23 Sep 1995; Guyana, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo; advertise, song; Finch, Davis W.;
ML Audio 218463; Phoebastria irrorata — Waved Albatross; 5 May 1984; Ecuador, Galápagos; call, mechanical sound; Krabbe, Niels K.;
ML Audio 214333; Mimus graysoni — Socorro Mockingbird; 14 Feb 1988; Mexico, Colima; call; Howell, Steve N. G.;
ML Audio 163903; Gymnogyps californianus — California Condor; 2 Apr 2003; United States, California; ; Gerwe, Vincent;
ML Audio 20313; Pterodroma phaeopygia — Galapagos Petrel; 6 Apr 1979; Ecuador, Galápagos; Social context: colony, fly, song; Tomkins, Robert J.;
ML Audio 89584; Pterodroma phaeopygia — Galapagos Petrel; 25 Feb 1986; Ecuador, Galápagos; ; Budney, Gregory F.;
ML Audio 33554; Garrulax rufifrons — Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush; 17 Nov 1984; Indonesia, Jawa; Social context: troop, advertise, counter singing, duet, forage; van den Berg, Arnoud B.;
ML Audio 33555; Garrulax rufifrons — Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush; 17 Nov 1984; Indonesia, Jawa; Social context: troop, call, establish flock contact, scold; van den Berg, Arnoud B.; ML Audio 55062; Toxostoma guttatum — Cozumel Thrasher; 28 Oct 1991; Mexico, Quintana Roo; song; Sada, Andres M.;
ML Audio 57769; Toxostoma guttatum — Cozumel Thrasher; 28 Feb 1986; Mexico, Quintana Roo; advertise, song; Delaney, Dale;
ML Audio 10718; Vermivora bachmanii — Bachman’s Warbler; ; ; ; Allen, Arthur A.;
ML Audio 15064; Ammospiza maritima nigrescens — Seaside Sparrow (Dusky); 30 Apr 1963; United States, Florida; advertise, court, song; Stein, Robert C.;
ML Audio 6031; Moho braccatus — Kauai Oo; 3 Jul 1975; United States, Hawaii; advertise, call, counter singing, mate, song; Shallenberger, Robert J.;
ML Audio 6049; Moho braccatus — Kauai Oo; 6 Jun 1975; United States, Hawaii; song; Zeillemaker, C. Fred;
ML Audio 5426; Todiramphus cinnamominus — Guam Kingfisher; 30 Jun 1978; ; advertise, mate, perform nest relief, song; Pratt, H. Douglas;
ML Audio 234873; Corvus hawaiiensis — Hawaiian Crow; 11 Dec 1980; United States, Hawaii; beg, call; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 234874; Corvus hawaiiensis — Hawaiian Crow; 11 Dec 1980; United States, Hawaii; call; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 218670; Corvus hawaiiensis — Hawaiian Crow; 29 Jan 1979; United States, Hawaii; call; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 5476; Zosterops conspicillatus — Bridled White-eye; 31 Jul 1978; Micronesia, Yap; call, depart, fly, forage; Pratt, H. Douglas;
ML Audio 236868; Melamprosops phaeosoma — Poo-uli; 21 Jul 1982; United States, Hawaii; call; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 6027; Myadestes myadestinus — Kamao; 2 Jul 1975; United States, Hawaii; advertise, song; Shallenberger, Robert J.;
ML Audio 5462; Myiagra freycineti — Guam Flycatcher; 6 Aug 1978; ; call, fly; Pratt, H. Douglas;
ML Audio 128037; Philydor novaesi — Alagoas Foliage-gleaner; 5 Mar 2001; Brazil, Alagoas; Social context: mixed, advertise, call, establish flock contact, forage, song; Marantz, Curtis A.;
ML Audio 943; Podilymbus gigas — Atitlan Grebe; May 1963; Guatemala, Sololá; advertise, duet, mate, perform visual display, song; LaBastille, Anne;
ML Audio 57099; Cyanopsitta spixii — Spix’s Macaw; 22 Sep 1991; Brazil, Bahia; call; Whitney, Bret M.;
ML Audio 214709; Antilophia bokermanni — Araripe Manakin; 24 Dec 2015; Brazil, Ceará; song; Vyn, Gerrit;
ML Audio 214706; Antilophia bokermanni — Araripe Manakin; 24 Dec 2015; Brazil, Ceará; perform visual display, song; Vyn, Gerrit;
ML Audio 5399; Cleptornis marchei — Golden White-eye; 6 Jul 1978; ; advertise, song; Pratt, H. Douglas;
ML Audio 5405; Cleptornis marchei — Golden White-eye; 7 Jul 1978; ; call; Pratt, H. Douglas;
ML Audio 236434; Liocichla bugunorum — Bugun Liocichla; 9 Apr 2006; India, Arunachal Pradesh; song; Widdowson, Margaret J.;
ML Audio 181323 Podiceps gallardoi — Hooded Grebe; 10 Dec 2012; Argentina, Santa Cruz; call, song; Roesler, Ignacio;
ML Audio 240564; Cinclodes palliatus — White-bellied Cinclodes; 12 Nov 1983; Peru, Pasco; call; Krabbe, Niels K.;
ML Audio 6784; Campephilus principalis principalis — Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Northern); Apr 1935; United States, Louisiana; call; Allen, Arthur A.;
ML Audio 2960; Himantopus novaezelandiae — Black Stilt; 7 Nov 1969; ; call, emit alarm, fly, perform visual display; Ward, William V.;
ML Audio 129189; Loxioides bailleui — Palila; 10 Apr 2002; United States, Hawaii; call, song; Budney, Gregory F.;
ML Audio 6067;Loxioides bailleui — Palila; 1 Feb 1979; United States, Hawaii; call, forage, song; Burr, Timothy A.;
ML Audio 5850;Loxioides bailleui — Palila; 5 Feb 1978; United States, Hawaii; call, establish flock contact, forage; Pratt, H. Douglas;

 

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