Birds in C

Conduct an orchestra of birds through a re-interpretion of Terry Riley’s “In C”

Referencing Riley's original 53 short melodic fragments, recorded bird sounds are composed into the phrases to create an unexpected cacophony of chirps, whistles, and hoots. As the conductor, users add different birds to the orchestra and advance each of them through the phrases. Graphic representations of the phrases allow users without knowledge of typical music notation to associate the auditory relationship with what they see, thus learning while performing the piece.

Coursework, 2016

Role: user testing, sound design, wireframes, prototyping and mockups, front-end development

Launch live site

Related blog posts

“Birds in C” uses manipulated bird songs create a layered texturing of sounds when performed.

Various iterations considered different ways visual information and animation could help users make sense of the unfamiliar sounds and compose the piece.

The notation allows users with no prior musical background to visually associate the graphic peaks and valleys with the auditory change in tone.

A timeline introduces a ‘live’ notation that represents the current state of play and below, the next phrases in sequence for each bird are shown.

Conduct the birds

Visit the live site to play the chirps, hoots and whistles of owls, sparrows, and other birds

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