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
The rich biodiversity
Locally and recorded birdsong
I am studying a PhD (A doctorate or doctor’s degree – [from Latin doctor, “teacher”] or doctoral degree
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 BalletHERE
“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”.