Secret Songs of Birds

The Hidden Beauty of Birdsong Revealed

The British Library

Secret Songs of Birds

The British Library

Distributed for British Library

1 compact disc and booklet | © 2010
Compact Disc $15.00 ISBN: 9780712351041 Published July 2010 For sale in North and South America only

The Secret Songs of Birds invites us to listen to the hidden beauty of birdsong. Many remarkable songbirds produce songs that astound us with their complexity and speed of delivery. Though such sounds as the duets of the Pacific Wren, the loud symphony of the Skylark, the babbling mimicry of the Icterine Warbler, and the acrobatic range of the Grey Fantail never fail to impress, it is almost impossible for the human ear to distinguish the wealth of hidden notes and surprising melodies that make up these remarkable compositions. Even many experienced ornithologists are not able to grasp the complexity of the songs by simply listening.

On this disc, however, the original recordings are played alongside digitally mastered versions where the natural speed has been specifically slowed down to reveal the subtle intricacy of each song in its full splendor. This unusual approach to birdsong will delight anyone fascinated by the extraordinary range of birdsongs around the world.

1. British Wren
2. Icterine Warbler
3. Common Yellowthroat
4. White-winged Fairywren
5. White-bellied Sunbird
6. Siberian Rubythroat
7. Eurasian Skylark
8. Common Redstart
9. Barred Warbler
10. Spotted Wren Babbler
11. Curve-billed Thrasher
12. Protea Canary
13. Goldcrest
14. Grasshopper Warbler
15. Lesser Shortwing
16. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
17. Blackcap
18. Chestnut-vented Warbler
19. Eurasian Reed Warbler
20. Grey Butcherbird
21. Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin
22. Pacific Winter Wren
23. Blue-throated Flycatcher
24. Grey Fantail

Duration: 64 minutes
Review Quotes
Smon Barnes | Times

“It is a revelation”—Times

Eric Ormsby | Bookforum
"We listen to the songs of birds but we don't always really hear them. . . . To remedy this, the British Library has drawn on its vast sound archive to present Secret Songs of Birds. . . . The effect is astonishing. . . . Such songs were probably the first music we humans heard; through the magic of these recordings, we have the unexpected sensation of entering an Eden made audible."
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