freeSong is the title of a project I’m producing for the National Trust as part of my current Artistic Residency at Runnymede and Ankerwycke.
The project starts with a sonic installation in the Runnymede Tearoom that enables visitors to relax to the sound of birds recorded nearby during 'Lockdown'. It encourages reflection on the freedom of birdsong, and invites people to contribute messages and/or recordings of their own - material that I'll transform into birdsong to be used in the second stage of the project.
This webpage is a virtual extension of the Tearoom Installation, where you can relax to the sound of the birdsong and contribute messages/recordings to the project remotely. Scroll down to participate:
Click the PLAY button above and relax to the beautiful sound of Runnymede birds recorded in lockdown.
Of all natural sounds, birdsong is recognised as the perfect antidote to stress, helping to lower blood pressure and improve the listener’s mental health. Take some time and let the bird calls sooth your soul! What do you think they might be communicating with each other? Consider what freedom they have to sing, and settle, wherever they feel safe.
"As free as a bird"!
Birds communicate about all kinds of things through their 'song' - from love poems to parental co-ordination; warnings to directions; declarations of strength to cries for help.
You're invited to add a 'leaf
message' to the freeSong 'message tree' located in the tearoom installation. Simply send me a message of hope, love, affirmation or warning and the project team will write it on a 'leaf' stickie and add it to the tree. Come back regularly to see pictures of the message tree (below) growing with leaves!
(Please note, the leaves are 'post-it' size, so a single phrase or sentence would be ideal):
of the project - where sonic-bird boxes will adorn the Runnynede landscape with a new audio trail!
(N.B. Remember to turn the Birdsong OFF before recording!)
If you're feeling brave, you can also send me your message as a recording!
Press the button below and speak out, recite, sing or even rap your message.
All recordings you send here will be transformed into bird-like sounds and included in the next stage
freeSong Message Tree
This is a picture of the freeSong 'Message Tree', located in the Tearoom at Runnymede (well, it's 2 trees really, but they have the same roots!). They're quite bare at the moment because we've not had any visitors yet due to the 2nd lockdown. When visitors are allowed to come, they'll be able to add 'leaf post-its' to the tree - messages sent to me from this website will also be added to the tree when I can access the installation again, and then on a regular basis moving forward. Come back after lockdown to see the tree fill with leaves!