Interactive, four-channel sound installation

Chit-chat by Nicholas Brown

Chit-chat at Science Gallery Dublin, 2017

Exhibition notes

Chit-chat transforms a human vocalization into birdsong. When a participant speaks or sings into a microphone, their voice is transformed into a bird-call.

The sound of the bird-call is determined by the musical characteristics (pitch variation, loudness) of whatever the participant says or sings into the mic. This bird-call triggers further calls from the other bird-boxes, which are also shaped by the original vocalization. The result is a musical ‘conversation’ with a flock of ‘birds’.

Chit-chat by Nicholas Brown installed at Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm

Chit-chat at Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm, 2018

The installation was built with Max7 software, with additional use of IRCAM’s FTM & Co library:

Screenshot of the Max patch for Chit-chat by Nicholas Brown

Chit-chat is the third work in Nicholas Brown’s ongoing series of bird-box installations, following An Audience with the Trees (2005) and Bird Chamber (2009). It originally featured in SOUND CHECK, Science Gallery, Dublin’s summer exhibition, June 9 - Sept 24, 2017. Chit-chat then toured to the Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm, February 16 - August 18, 2019.