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Berlin Bülbül

23453
  • Title: Berlin Bülbül
  • Artists: David Rothenberg, Korhan Erel
  • Label: Gruenrekorder
  • Format: CD
  • Genres: Field Recordings, Improvisation, Acoustic, Jazz, Experimental Electronic, Misc Berlin
  • Price: €14,50EU (incl. 19% VAT)€12,18non-EU

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"There are three distinct ways nightingales sing and countersing to each other, beginning late at night and ending by dawn in the first weeks of spring. Most males are ‘inserters,’ meaning that they wait about one second after a neighbor’s song finishes before starting their own. Songs alternate between one bird and another. Then there are ‘overlappers,’ who start their song about one second after their neighbor begins, as if to cover up or jam the neighbor’s signal. It may be some kind of threat or a mask of the first song, cutting into his air time. Then there are ‘autonomous singers,’ who sing and sing according to their own schedule, paying no heed to what any nearby nightingales are doing. Sounds like a good analysis of the three kinds of jazz musicians one might run into on the stage: the one who give you space and trades choruses, another who tries to interrupt everything you do, and finally the boss who cares about no one’s licks but his own.

Berlin is probably the best city in Europe to make music live with nightingales, because of its spacious parks and the large number of enthusiastically singing birds. Strangely enough, nighttime nightingale jamming doesn’t seems to be as popular an activity as one might expect, but we have shown that it does actually work. Almost everything one plays to a nightingale will encourage him to sing more.

Berlin biologist Silke Kipper is worried by the occasional penchant of the male nightingale to sing a strange buzz in the midst of his clarion whistles, clicks, and ratchets. She admits she finds this buzz sound unpleasant, and says that does not matter because the female nightingales find it especially pleasant. This sound already has something particularly cool that the nightingales would sing only occasionally, like an ornament, grace note, or more honestly a blue note, that cool in-between unclassifiable sound human music is known to offer up in many forms. When a female hears the buzz, she knows that this male singer is strong, solid, and a good choice with whom to mate. It gets her excited. She just might fly right into the midst of the nettles to find him…

What is it like to play along with a nightingale? It becomes a direct window into the unknown, a touch of communication with a being with whom we cannot speak. The play of pure tones jarring against click and buzz, it all becomes not a code but a groove, an amphitheater of rhythms in which we strive to find a place. Even when we are back in the studio the possibility of contacting the musical mind of the nightingale still influences us. What is special about this moment is that the birds are leaving space for each other, they are in that back and forth, territory-defining state, and thus they welcome me perhaps more than usual. Occasional human cries in the distance, that’s right, everyone can find their place, all are welcome…. Finally one screech—is it someone blowing against a blade of grass?—will that silence our bird? No, absolutely not, nothing will. For he is born to sing."

Track list:

01 – The Night the War Ends (9:03)
live from Treptower Park at midnight, May 9, 2014

02 – A Long Note’s Invisible Beam (3:10)

03 – Unearthly Untaught Strain (3:51)

04 – Treptower Monument (3:46)
live from Treptower Park 1am, May 1, 2014
Monika Dorniak, whistling

05 – Omnibus (4:11)

06 – Nachtigall Imbiss (4:30)

07 – Her Pipe in Growth of Riper Days (3:13)

08 – Dark with Birds and Frogs (6:01)
live from Treptower Park at midnight, May 9, 2014

09 – From That Moonlit Cedar What a Burst (3:34)

10 – No Two Sound Alike (2:30)

11 – Hasenheide Night Circus (4:11)
live from Hasenheide Park at midnight, April 15, 2014

12 – Interfused Upon the Silentness (1:58)

12 Tracks (49′54″)

David Rothenberg, bass clarinet, clarinet, effects
Korhan Erel, Samplr on iPad, Omnibus
nightingales live in the parks of Berlin

Recorded at live on location and at Draakonipuu, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Spring 2014
Produced by David Rothenberg

Special thanks to Chaos Chen and Xinglang Guo of Wie:Kultur for helping to make this project possible. To Dietmar Todt, Silke Kipper, Ofer Tchernichovski, Marc Naguib and Christine Roeske for sharing the science. And to all who joined us for our midnight concert in Treptower Park last May 9th, the night the end of the War is celebrated.

Artwork and design by Bernhard Wöstheinrich, www.studioflokati.de

All titles published by Mysterious Mountain Music (BMI)
Many title names adapted from lines in Edward Hirsch, ed. To a Nightingale: Poems from Sappho to Borges (George Braziller, 2007)
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www.terranovamusic.net