B is for Bird: A game-audio musical work for resynthesed syrinx

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Birdsongs have inspired humans and informed musical compositions and other art forms for centuries. This paper discusses preliminary conclusions deriving from the design of an interactive music system for mimicking birds' vocal anatomy. It aims to drive a modular synthesizer, as the basis for a multiplayer game-audio environment. The piece is partially controlled by audience's interaction using mobile devices equipped with an Augmented Reality tool. When the tablet / smartphone detects the markers, it generates singing meta-birds which will become players on a game-engine server platform.
The creative outcome is an evolutionary aural ecosystem entitled B - is for Bird - mostly genera- ted with pure analogue synthesis driven by birdsongs and rendered in 3D.

B's system flow includes four block components: a Syrinx Recognition Scheme (SRS), a Map- ping-to-Modular Tool (MTM), a Compositional Navigation Artefact (CNA) and a Structural Evolutionary Device (SED). The piece aims to build on existing musical repertoire and tradition emerging from composers who, in one way or another, were fascinated by birds and in some cases, became amateur ornithologists. The author's preliminary field-recording work for B in Manchester's peak district's natural reservoir strengthened his personal connection with nature. It also raised his self-awareness on the importance of preserving of our sonic environment and it provided ideas for the game-audio chronicle in B. The piece's narrative unfolds during the colonisation of a new planet, where humans had to artificially rebuild aspects of our ecosystem, including the construction of a virtual habitat for meta-birds singing and calls.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrazil
PublisherUniversidade Federal de Uberlandia * Editora
Editionouvirouver , Volume 12, pp 54-72
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016