Songbird is a fairytale with a dark heart.
You will be transported to the island of Kauai in1984 and into a painted replica of a lush cloud forest filled with colourful birds. Here, you are invited to search for the last known ʻōʻō, an iconic black bird with yellow leg feathers and a beautiful song, a bird whose existence has been threatened to the point of extinction.
You are retracing the steps of world renowned ornithologist Dr Jim Jacobi, one of the last known people to ever see the ʻōʻō bird. You will hear the true story of his extraordinary meeting with the fabled ʻōʻō. Jim’s past experience and your present begin to merge as you first hear and then see the ʻōʻō, culminating in a final close encounter with the legendary ʻōʻō himself.
In the piece, the ʻōʻō is 3D animated, and other birds such as the i’iwi and the kamao are 2D animated. The cloud forest itself is comprised of 2D and 3D painted assets, each and every leaf and plant meticulously researched. The painted artwork and animation was created by Uri and Michelle Kranot who have been honoured with the top industry awards for their work, including the Oscar Academy Award Shortlist.
Songbird has been created with a fully spatialised soundscape of recordings of extinct birds – sonic fossils – combined with authentic sounds from the Kauai’an wet forest. The ʻōʻō recording in the piece was recorded in 1976. The ʻōʻō was declared extinct in 1987.
The ʻōʻō is not alone; over half of the Kauai’s original 13 native forest birds have disappeared. Kauai is not alone either; globally 1 in 8 birds are threatened with extinction.
Veteran British actress Sian Phillips narrates Songbird.
March 20-31 2019
Kongens Nytorv 1
Lucy Greenwell, Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot
Carte Blanche and TinDrum
VR AND ANIMATION BY
A COLLABORATION BETWEEN
The Guardian, HTC VIVE Arts, The Animation Workshop, and Carte Blanche