Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spring 72: Expedition with Fiddle

Friday, June 3, 2011
5:10am-6:20am, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA
clear and cool

It’s my first sunrise in several days, and also my first expedition with my violin.

Since last week, it's been warm enough to play outside, and today it’s early enough that I feel like I won’t be distracted or self-conscious about other walkers and their dogs.

I’m excited and curious what it will be like to play “with” the birds. Will it scare them away? Will they come closer to defend their turf? My dream, of course, is to become a kind of Bird Whisperer and be able to converse with them, and/or attract multitudes of singers, Pied-Piper-style, by my phenomenal mimics.

I first record today’s bird, whose call reminds me a little of the Yellow-Rumped Warbler from Acadia.

Then I found a nice bench, unpacked my violin, and started to mimic the birds I was hearing. It was challenging, as a lot of birds I heard were not ones who I’ve practiced. Plus, it’s totally different to spontaneously mimic a bird in real-time, as opposed to slow repetitions with the same recording as I had previously done at home.
For your listening pleasure I’ve edited a medley of passable excerpts, including today’s bird, a canine cameo, and a titmouse:

Later, had a nice play with this bird – I feel like I should know his name, but I don’t:

Well, no great fireworks to report. It didn’t much feel like any of the birds (except maybe one which seemed to come a little closer) were responding or reacting to my mimics at all. Still, it was fun to be testing my skills live, and to realize how many more birdsounds I have left to learn!


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