Thursday, 25 October 2012

Crow Country

As autumn ticks inexorably towards winter, it is time again for the gathering of the crows. One of the most remarkable sights in our part of Norfolk is the huge corvid roost just north of the river from us at Buckenham. Tens of thousands of rooks and jackdaws gather from across the landscape as dusk approaches. Drifting in in small numbers at first, the volume rises and rises, before a huge influx streams in across the twilight. After settling in droves in surrounding fields, just as dark sescends they rise up in tumults before hurtling down to settle in the carr to sit out the night.

The phenomenon has been thoroughly documented and explored in Mark Cocker's fantastic 'Crow Country', which I heartily recommend. Having observed it several times last winter I look forward again to the sight again this year. This short film culled from footage I shot last year cannot convey the awesome spectacle or indeed sound, but I hope gives some taste of the scale.

I wrote the music as a response to this experience. For me there is a sense of foreboding and high drama about the spectacle, which I tried to reflect. I made no attempt to imitate the actual sound, instead drawing inspiration from the mix of sounds; the deep organic chatter of the rooks mirrored in acoustic guitars whilst referencing the higher, almost electronic noises of the jackdaws, using a theremin.

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