Several weeks ago we gave you a challenge: using a dozen bird songs recorded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we asked you to create an original musical composition on the theme of Spring. We received more than 100 compositions, ranging from classical to electronica to jazz, even radio drama. This week, Greg Budney, curator of audio at the Lab, and Kurt Andersen announce their favorites. The winning entry, Marlo Reynolds’ “Certhia Americana,” took the Brown Creeper as its base, mixing the bird’s call with a poem written and performed by Reynolds’ collaborator Gump. Budney says it captured his own field recording experiences “spot on.”
The song of the brown creeper enters
Zigzagging upward it gleans insects –
Once learned, the high, insistent call is hard to forget –
In mature woods and large old trees –
Often heard –
But hard to see –
Under the sun
Reynolds often records bird songs and uses them in his work, including these sounds from China that you can download and use in your own work.
Thanks to all the creative participants in the Remixing Spring Challenge.
Winner: Marlo Reynolds — Philadelphia, PA
Greg’s Pick: Phil Torres — Durham, NC
"It's Not Spring Yet, But It's Getting There"
Kurt’s Pick: Jeremy L. Strong — Mount Ephraim, NJ
“Uninvited Giant Meadowlark”
Want to try your hand at the challenge? Our contest deadline has passed, but you can still download the tracks and share your composition.
Listen to all the entries: