by Harry Ovington
Recorded and composed in summer 2020, Wild Chorus reflects a unique moment of global quiet. It acts as a time capsule of the first lockdown, blending field recordings of nature with sonified weather pattern datasets.
Wild Chorus forms part of Harry Ovington’s Sonic Rewild research project, conducted as part of a PhD in composition at The University of Manchester. The primary aim of Sonic Rewild is to reconnect audiences to nature through sound and artistically represented environmental information.
The intention of the Manchester Museum commission was to communicate a moment of potential to further ecological thinking and action. Right now, our audiences carry with them their experiences of lockdown and their hopes for recovery. Under the shadow of a global pandemic, people’s connections with nature have become more vivid and sensorial. In our confinement, we listened intently.
Wild Chorus by Harry Ovington, composer and sound artist.
Commissioned by Manchester Museum, 2020
"My sound art practice is predominantly based in site-specific work and always aims
to highlight themes such as landscape, bioacoustics, sonic cultures and historical narratives. To achieve this, my work always starts with the process of field recording, and occasionally, studio-based recreations of elements that appear in real locations." - Harry Ovington
“The aim is to always include a tangible narrative within a piece of music, whether that be environmental concern or a reference to the time in which the piece was being constructed. Also looking at different perspectives from nature.” Harry Ovington
In this breath-taking composition, Harry Ovington blends field recordings of nature with sonified weather pattern datasets, capturing three separate perspectives of the dawn chorus; the birds, the insects and a person walking through the landscape as the sun rises.
Right now, we all carry with us our experiences of lockdown and our hopes for recovery. Might these vivid reconnections with nature lead us to different choices and bring about a wilder future?
‘Sonic Rewild: A lockdown film’ is a new film work by Harry Ovington and Oliver Halstead detailing Harry’s environmentally focussed work in sonic art and composition. This project, started between friends during the lockdown months, acted as a way of connecting with each other during the periods of isolation whilst also exploring how we recognised the natural world differently during this time.
The film documents the making of Harry’s piece ‘Wild Chorus’ and features the locations and processes utilised in making the piece along with spoken testimonials from Harry about his work and the theories behind his practice.
Both Wild Chorus and Voicing Silence ask us to pause and think about our relationships with the natural world: the times when we find joy and beauty in the life around us, or the times when we feel sad and angry at the threats to wildlife. Both pieces suggest that the way forward is together, and that collectively we can work to make a difference.
#MMWeAreNature #WildChorus #VoicingSilence