Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Birds

They're coming.

Actually, they're already here.

The little devils.

If I was a little winged creature, I would probably want to settle under the eaves too. The north end of our sanctuary is practically built like a bird high-rise. All those lovely apartments just waiting for the enterprising sparrow to make a nest. I wouldn't be surprised if some bird already owned the place and was charging tenants to live there. One bedroom apartments with lovely view. Close to everything. Lots of cars in easy pooping distance every Sunday, Unfurnished--you have to build your own nest.

The problem with all this is they can be loud neighbors. Every year from the start of June to the middle of July I can't record the organ until after dark or suffer the consequences of loud bird noises throughout the music. I found this out the hard way after several recordings were ruined. Some have been assiduously edited to leave out the bird singalong. One that I left in the pianonoise catalog will illustrate the problem. It sounds a bird like birdsong anyhow, so I thought it might be amusing to let the birds sing and not re-record--yet.

[Pinkevicius: communion from Mass for the 4th Sunday of Lent]

All the same, I really ought to be smart about this and save my recording for the piano, where the microphones go to the other end of the sanctuary and close enough to the instrument that you generally can't hear birds--except for two years ago when a rival gang of birds set up shop near the pipe room. Some times it sounded like West Side Story in our sanctuary. Piano recording is tough during the winter because the heat makes too much background hum but it is ideal during the summer months. However, as I mentioned on Friday, our organ is leaving us for two months to be refurbished this summer and it seems prudent to concentrate on it for the present, while it's available.

When I'm not recording I don't mind if the birds chirp along. It can be pleasant. And there's always been a niche market for that sort of thing.

I thought, as a tribute to my feathered neighbors, to encore a piece by our friend Dietrich Buxtehude. It's a little prelude and fugue I played last spring. The second part, the fugue, sounds like birds--mechanical birds, perhaps, but they do chatter along nicely.

Enjoy!

[Buxtehude: Praeludium in F]

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