Making birdsong music

Making birdsong music

ABC Australia

PhD student Jean-Michel Maujean is recording the melodic calls of Australian songbirds and transforming them into classical compositions.

Jean-Michel spends days at a time camping in Western Australia’s remote forests, recording the tuneful chirps of species like the Golden Whistler and Noisy Scrub Bird. He used specialist equipment like a parabolic dish to capture high quality recordings of distant birdsong, which is then fed into a 3D Spectrogram. This computer software creates a visual representation of the birdsong, which Jean-Michel uses as a compositional and performance aid. Later this year the finished compositions will be performed at a recital using instruments made by Jean-Michel, including 3D printed flutes and a ‘PV Cello’. Jean-Michel says birdsong first originated in Australia, so the project is a celebration of a home-grown phenomenon. “Some people think there’s no new music anymore, that all ideas have been used up, so I figure let’s look at the birds and see what they have to say about that because there’s plenty of new ideas that we can come up with,” he says.

Chunks of vocabulary to learn from video

  • It’s been recognised that
  • First evolved
  • The rich biodiversity
  • Locally and recorded birdsong
  • Music creation
  • I am studying a PhD (A doctorate or doctor’s degree – [from Latin doctor, “teacher”] or doctoral degree
  • Performing Arts
  • Out in the field
  • Recording birds
  • These various tools that I can employ
  • Somewhere in the distance
  • Clean music like sound
  • Squawk or Quack
  • I’m also open to recommendations
  • Bird species
  • Make a recording
  • Send it through
  • Pitch up a tent
  • It’s a way to look at sound
  • Play music
  • Sing along with birds
  • All ideas have been used up
  • And what not
  • New ideas we can come up with

Black Panther

Black Panther

Joburg Ballet

The incredible global success of ‘Black Panther’ has placed Africa at the epicentre of contemporary popular culture. For centuries, this continent has been eroded and exploited by the forces of colonialism and globalisation. Through the fictional nation of Wakanda, the film gives us a glimpse of how Africa might have prospered had these forces never existed. Although we can never change our past, ‘Black Panther’ shows us how important it is to protect and preserve our African-ness now and for future generations.

Joburg Ballet jumped at the opportunity to incorporate a Wakanda-inspired episode into our #BreakingBallet series. It features the indomitable Monika Cristina, Kitty Phetla and Claudia Monja as Dora Milaje warriors, laying down a challenge to any would-be adversaries of African culture. Visit Joburg Ballet HERE

I will what I want

I will what I want


“Rising star Misty Copeland makes history as the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

When she discovered ballet, however, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer”.

Read more HERE

Vocabulary chunks  to learn after watching the video :

  • Dance came into my life very unexpected
  • With my single parent, my mother and 5 of my siblings
  • I could make a career out of something I enjoyed doing
  • Something that I was passionate about
  • Something that gave me a voice
  • A major ballet company
  • To set an example of what a healthy image is
  • Dreams are possible
  • You really can push yourself to become anything with the right work ethic and support around you
  • I hope to see more diversity on the stage
  • I hope the audience is more diverse
  • People go to see performances
  • They want to see themselves up there
  • Endless opportunities
  • Something they could attain
  • I want them to be able to see dreams through me


They call it dance. I call it life.

They call it dance. I call it life.

  [Teen Vogue]

Vocabulary to learn after watching the video :

  • You leave home at a very very young age
  • To pursue to becoming professional ballerinas
  • It was a stepping stone in the right direction towards becoming a part of a company
  • New York City Ballet was the dream company
  • So I’m now officially a part of the New York City Ballet
  • I honestly couldn’t be more honored
  • You take class at 10.30
  • Have rehearsal until 7 o’clock
  • When there is performance, you have a show at 7.30
  • I have to work on who I am on stage
  • What makes someone stand out, what makes someone unique
  • Everyone is unique in their own way
  • There are so many people I look up to
  • In five years my goal is to be a better dancer, to be a better artist





Is Discipline a part of Freedom ?

Is Discipline a part of Freedom ?

Watch the following video :

source :

Vocabulary to learn after watching the video :

  • She’s an amazing performer
  • It’s women, it’s feminine, and hair is the crown of our body
  • What was your inspiration for  the choreography
  • The hair follows the intention of the movement
  • The hair makes a circular pattern which you’ll see in slow motion
  • Discipline vs freedom
  • The more discipline you have, you have freedom
  • Because you know what your limits are
  • Discipline is a part of freedom
  • Basically my work is about time, space, shape and motion
source : Kerastase Paris
Living your dream

Living your dream

Watch the following video :

Benedicte Bemet

Vocabulary to learn after watching the video :

Most of the time you don’t look at this as your job

It’s your passion

Put myself in the right mental state

I moved away from my parents when I was 14

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do

I owe all of this to them

The outcome of class can sort of determine the day sometimes

Ever since I got into the company I started numbering my pointe, I’m up to pair 123

I find sewing quite therapeutic

It’s hard it’s hard not to get too nervous

Setting yourself up for the show, just really warming up your muscles and finding your centre

I like to hum the actual music before I go on stage

It can make you so happy

There are days it can make you quite upset as well if you’re disappointed in yourself

What’s most important I guess is still coming

We had like a goal from the age of 13, you knew what you wanted to be

What’s more incredible is the fact that it actually happened

We are actually living the dream