bellbirds of wapengo lakeWapengo 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 a myriad of 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. The multiple avian sources formed 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, bewitched by the delicacy and the complexity of the ornithological concerto I was witnessing.