Australia’s Broken Chip is a comrade of the Flaming Pines label, having appeared on several of their previous series. For the Birds of a Feather series he composed a highly subdued piece as on ode to the Wonga Pigeon, a native bird that is highly mysterious and not often seen. Broken Chip’s experience of spotting it just once without knowing what it was developed the pigeon into a myth before at last he saw it again.
As with many doves and pigeons, the Wonga coos softly, but its voice is extra delicate. Broken Chip’s musical interpretation is similarly quiet and gentle, approaching the animal’s mystique with the sanctimony of a boyhood memory. The ambience describes everything between canopy and underbrush as singular piano notes punctuate and reverse themselves. When it appears the pigeon wafts in like a ghost. This video will help identify the call:
This track is pretty short within the context of the others in the series, but the ethereality is mighty thick. Plotting a longer course would have thinned out the ideas, which are already minimal. The sound interplay is rich, with many ambient touches exchanging focus. Broken Chip keeps it simple, as if trying not to disturb the bird up on the branch. In listening, you can imagine yourself taking the slowest of steps in trying to approach it. Or drifting off to sleep in the sun dappled hammock below.
In the end, this track comes off like an ode more to bird watching. Many people don’t understand the joy in doing this. The art of remaining still and waiting for birds to do their thing can end up being a cathartic experience. Broken Chip has offered a ten minute class in motionlessness with which to practice. (Nayt Keane)
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