* Original 1995 edition, long out of print. * Oropendola: Music by and from Birds weaves together a rich tapestry of music and wildlife recordings from Madagascar, Kenya and Brazil, featuring the songs and habitats of birds from around the world. The booklet provides written information by Douglas Quin about his wildlife recordings and his compositions. It is illustrated with scores and spectrographs. The considerable time and energy spent in the field, obtaining recordings, is an integral part of the process of composition. The music includes works for sampler and electronic ensembles as well as traditional instruments, such as percussion, clarinet and flute whose parts are derived from the songs of birds and the sounds of the natural world.
A beautiful collection of experimental compositions and field recordings on Netherlands sound art label Het Apollohuis, Oropendola -- Music By and From Birds welcomes a new approach to wildlife recordings. The American composer worked with birdsongs to create these high-fidelity works and recordings from Madagascar, Kenya, and Brazil, which form the basis on which further interpretations are made with sampler and traditional instruments. As the great French composer Olivier Messiaen had been infatuated with birdsongs as an inspiration to his piano compositions, Douglas Quin takes that tradition a step further by incorporating the recording into the work. The effect is a clamorous montage of environmental sound, shaped into a flowing work that could exist as a sound installation as well as a stunning piece of music. This CD is packaged with extensive liner notes and a foldout card case, and is an intriguing addition to a collection of obscure musical methods. Similarly, this label released a CD by the Maciunas Ensemble & Kanary Grand Band, in which the experimental group performs with live caged birds.