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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Song, subsong, sound and a squirrel

During the bat-walk, I had a brainwave.

One of the volunteers was a marine ecologist. His job is mitigation for marine mammals during seabed surveys. He sits in a boat and checks there are no whales and dolphins in a given area and then they let of the seismic thing - which tells them that they've fucked up the seabed through trawling and no there isn't any oil left.

So he was familiar with the sonar used by marine mammals. We had the detectors that translate bat echo location into a frequency we can hear. He uses kit to do the same for dolphins. I know that birds can sing two notes simultaneously and also that they process sound much faster than we do and I think can hear a higher range.

I suddenly wondered if there was a way all these sounds could be adjusted - speed and pitch - to have them match the processing of one chosen brain, the human for instance. If so, would there be commonalities, correspondences? Would what we experience as sound or song suddenly be self-evidently communication of information?

I did a little experiment with the song I recorded the other day. First, you hear the clip as recorded, then it is slowed down and the pitch lowered.

That offers no conclusions or even suggestions... but I think that this is a project that those people who do bioacoustic art could take on. Consider a bird, a bat, a whale, a person all brought into the same tempo-pitch framing...

Today, I had played some of his song to SoB and I thought I had offended him, so I went out later with some sandpaper and my five wands. As soon as I whistled, there he was and he stayed with me for an hour. He did not mind the sanding - he could read my intention. While I was sanding, I was otherwise engaged and he could forage around me. I pulled up some plants so he could explore the soil.

It was magical. For the last fifteen minutes, he was singing his subsong.

I remember years ago being so bloody angered by people saying things like, "it is such a privilege to watch Arsenal: the football is so good." Partly, I hated Arsenal then but also... it just wasn't a privilege. A privilege is personal. This is personal, with Son of Bob: he has chosen to befriend me. This is what privilege looks like.

The wands? Oh, yes. Five of them: hazel, ash, oak, yew and poplar. I have feathers for them and wool from sheep that I found. I need beads. But I don't want plastic. Anyway, here they are.

And I mentioned the squirrel.

Finally, Daisy Dunnock, daughter of Dolores and Dominic, both of whom I can now recognise.

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Sep 07, 2023

I love your posts. I know I've told you that before 😍 I'm pleased to learn the names of the Dunnock family. And I'm interested in your new wands. Will the wands from the different trees be used in different ways that are specific to the tree? The bioacoustic stuff is mysterious and I imagine the sky's the limit for possibilities. I'm guessing SoB got over feeling offended by the sound of your together time. It seems to me you two are exploring what it means to be close, intimate friends.

Sep 07, 2023
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Not sure about the wands.... I don't know what I will do with them or when I will get around to finishing them!😃

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