A musical performance is to use recordings of seagulls to try and persuade audiences to see the beauty in the much-maligned birds.
The piece has been created by Nuria Bonet Filella, an Associate Lecturer and researcher in the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR). The composer hopes it will help those who hear it look beyond the birds’ reputation for scavenging behaviour and harsh calls, showing off the beauty of seagull song and the ways it can change over the course of a year.
Her research frequently takes nature as its inspiration, finding musical structures in the environment and even data around climate change, but Queen Canute is something of a first on many fronts.
Miss Bonet has spent many hours recording the birds on the waterfront in Plymouth, and will combine those recordings and observations with the sound of a clarinet to create a unique new duet.
“Living in a coastal city, seagulls are all around us and a part of our way of life. But what if you took a step back and listened for changes during the day, or to see if their song altered at different times of the year? That is what I hope my piece will do, as well as reminding people that seagulls are in fact beautiful birds and a species we should celebrate more often.
“From a musical perspective, there is not much done in terms of seagulls as composers have always tended to focus more on songbirds. So I also hope it will give my audience a different experience, and a new perspective on a sound that for many of them is an integral part of their daily lives.”