composer, performer and sound designer

Birdsong through bells

Listening to the outcome of a machine-learning algorithm for species counting

Combining Sarah’s robotic carillon with a machine learning algorithm from Dan Stowell to hear automatic transcriptions of the dawn chorus played by polyphonic bells. For International Dawn Chorus Day 2016.

In 2016 I was contacted by Dan Stowell, a machine learning and bioacoustic researcher at QMUL. Dan had created a system for automatically transcribing birdsong using machine-learning algorithms. His software created a stream of frequencies, amplitudes and timepoints which really lent themselves to musical adaptation.

I created a Max patch to convert his data into a format that could be interpreted automatically by the Ealing Feeder, my robotic carillon. We used it to play Dan’s automatic transcriptions of a dawn chorus at Stave Hill Ecology Park on Interntional Dawn Chorus Day.

It’s very interesting to compare this automatic transcription method to the eighteenth century interpretations of birdsong in the Bird Fancyer’s Delight.

Thanks to Karina Townsend for this video of the carillon playing outdoors at Stave Hill, Rotherhithe, London.


Sarah Angliss Ealing Feeder - robotic carillon

Sarah Angliss Ealing Feeder – robotic carillon