Pigeon Song aims to synthesise and send human-like voices through the air, using whimsical and impractical means. A number of Belgian racing pigeons are fitted with Indonesian pigeon flutes. The flutes are secured to the tails of the pigeons, in order to generate mournful Aeolian sounds as the birds fly through the air.
Flutes of different pitches have been selected to mimic human vowel sounds such as “eeh”, “aah”, “ooh” and “ih” when played together. The selection was informed by a combination of trial and error in listening to different groups of flutes, as well as detailed spectral analysis of vowel sounds sung at high pitches.
Before the advent of the telegraph, telephone and Internet, so called “carrier” pigeons were one of the fastest ways of communicating human messages over long distances by carrying written notes strapped to their legs. Pigeon Song alludes to the imagination and endeavour required to send voices through the air to the ears of faraway listeners