bellbirds of wapengo lake

Wapengo Lake, Australia - November 2019



As I travelled South in Barragga Bay’s surrounding regions, I kept hearing strange pinging sounds in the distance. My curiosity grew as I perceived them repeatedly while never identifying their sources. This unexplained composition charged the soundscape with an uncanny feeling as it echoed in the valleys. It sounded like crystals singing as they spored out of the forest’s flora - images from René Laloux’s Fantastic Planet came to my mind - had I landed on the Ygam planet? One morning, as I explored the shores and the local oyster farms of Wapengo Lake, I again came across this acoustic phenomenon. Very close this time, its sonic beauty finally unraveled fully. It emanated from a bellbirds colony perched in a patch of trees. These multiple sources gave the piece spectacular depth and spatialization, and the swarm of reverberating bell-like calls mirrored minimalist electronic scores from the second half of the 20th century. I stood there with my eyes closed for a while, absolutely mesmerized by the delicacy and the complexity of the ornithological concerto I was witnessing.


© Pablo Diserens — 2020 →  2021