I apologize for not posting this prior to the event last week, but I still wanted to share it with the H-Animal community as it looks totally amazing. Hopefully some H-Animalistas in the UK were able to attend. -- The Editor
If you're near or can get to Sheffield it would be brilliant if you could be part of this world premiere event, deconstructing the narrative of animals on film in nature documentary (the national Live Cinema launch event of Sheffield Doc/Fest). It should be a pretty exciting crowd, as we're hoping to use the moment to fire off into other projects /collaborations hopefully bringing animals and geography/film researchers together with musicians/ filmmakers outside the usual or traditional distribution/consumption networks for nature documentary, thinking through ideas of empathy, moral fable, and the fauna of nature docs.
The chance to take part in the Feral Choir is hopefully a particular thing to flag for doctoral students and others - it's a totally different technique for thinking and an amazing way to think through the nonhuman through using vocal practice. And it's free - see sign up details below, and please pass the word if you can...
Inspired by an abandoned idea of Walt Disney's to build natural history cinemas in zoos, experimental composers, musicians and even an AI join filmmaker and Doctor of GeoHumanities Amy Cutler to re-invent the heroes, villains, sounds and spaces of nature broadcasts. We’ll travel through submerged volcanoes, bio-luminescence, flocking birds and swarming insects, accompanied by new performances, from live drone laments to the conducting of “feral singing” by the audience.
MUSIC: saxophonist and composer Nick Roth and improvising musician / computer scientist Panos Ghikas will perform a composition based on the flocking behaviour of birds and bird flocking simulators in response to nature documentaries which use inflight cameras to track migrating geese. Áine O'Dwyer will use voice and harp to create ceremonial music for the web spinning, death and mating of silk spinner spiders; and Bridget Hayden’s synth compositions and reconfigured blues will explore the subterranean spaces of deep sea nature documentary, from slo-mo shoals to drowned volcanoes.
The free two-hour workshop from 12.15 - 2.15 at the Leadmill in feral voice techniques will culminate in a mini-concert at the world premiere of Nature's Nickelodeons, 4-5.30pm on the same day - one of the Special Events at Sheffield Documentary Festival (the biggest documentary festival in the world). This public performance will involve around 12 minutes of group improvisation to footage of swarms, locusts, and feral mice overrunning human habitations.
No previous experience of vocal improv is necessary, and this is open to anyone who takes a delight in the freedom to experiment - particularly around ideas of breaking out of habitual modes of human voice to explore all kinds of breathing and vocal techniques to re-imagine nonhuman lives and swarming insects.