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Birds Make Experimental Guitar Music

Earlier this year, an innovative and highly creative idea took The Curve art gallery in London by storm.
Although more accustomed to hosting concerts from acts such as London Symphony Orchestra, the sounds which resonated from the Barbican were made from a group of musicians you certainly wouldn’t expect to see making music.

The gallery’s free exhibition space was turned into a unique aviary for 40 zebra finches, with a selection of bass and Gibson Les Paul electric guitars doubling up as perches and cymbals being used as water and feed holders.
The idea was that as the birds went about their daily business, settling on and picking at the instruments, they would create a chance composition which would be amplified around the gallery.
The work was the idea of French contemporary artist Celeste Boursier-Mougenot who, in the past, has experimented with ordinary objects to explore their acoustic potential.
While it remains unlikely that these latest budding guitarists will be recording a number one album anytime in the near future, the exhibition proved to be a popular draw for visitors.
Museum curator Lydia Yee explained to the BBC that the idea behind the exhibition was to create an auditory and visual experience for the visitor.
“He wants us to pay more attention to sound that surround us in everyday life,” she added. “They could be a low rumbling sound coming from the underground that, as some form of music in combination with other things, could be considered musical.
“With the finches he started thinking about the relationship between sound and space. He wanted to create situations that would enable sound to happen but not in an enforced way, or a very composed way.”

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