The corridors and offices of Shonk Towers are empty and dark. The causation, a global pandemic that has led to the extermination of most of our staff, with nothing more than an intern popping in once a week to replace the pans and buckets below the leaks and a carer to see to Mr. Shonk up in his penthouse the tower is gloomy and sad.
However, I was asked by the maintenance team (no one knows who they are, we suspect that their email address is sentient) to conduct a lightbulb survey on the building and upon entering I was surprised to hear the unmistakable sound of birdsong.
But it wasn’t.
But it was.
It has transpired that the aforementioned sentient email address had received correspondence from a previously unknown aural experimenter from North Wales. This individual claims to be from Cae Gwyn Records and in their infinite wisdom thought they would email their latest release ‘Dinosaurs Among Us’ to The Shonk’s server.
Now, it would be remiss of us to blame him for this transgression, Mr. David Hopewell could never have expected our idiosyncratic system to adopt a level of self-awareness that would allow it to begin broadcasting his as of yet unreleased work through the black, damp corridors of our once great organisation.
But he did.
We have strict policies on simulacrum in our building and at first, these charmingly irregular sounds prompted nothing short of chaos and disdain at the sheer audacity that someone would attempt to digitally replicate the sound of our wonderful feathered friends.
We understand now that we were hasty in our irrational reactions.
You see… what we have now come to understand is that David Hopewell has not plagiarised the perfect sounds of nature, but rather enhanced them. He has, through painstaking button pressing and other assorted actions, slowed birdsong down to a point where it can be fully appreciated for everything that it is.
And then he went one step further.
He remembered that birds were not always birds and were actually… you guessed it, dinosaurs. Living, breathing, giant organisms who dominated the skies, with guttural cries of ownership across the great landscape before them, before time and the cruelty of evolution insisted they became smaller, cuter, more prey based and hyperactive.
We never knew that we required this level of translation between the ornithological ancestors, their modern day birderin and the great swathes of space between their chirps and tweets.
What David Hopewell has done is filled our abandoned, shoddy building with a rich tapestry of life and song, connecting the past, present and future through an intangible network that conjoins ancient assumptions with current facts.
Do you know what I mean? It’s okay, I do.
I had no choice but to stop, stop everything and just sit and listen and get swept away by a soundscape so seemingly alien and familiar that I was experiencing de ja vu and anxiety of the unknown all at once.
I felt like I had been transported to a thick, forgotten jungle, deep underground but still with a sky, a liminal space located everywhere and nowhere, full of familiarity and nothing that I had ever seen before.
I had to process something I knew so well but had never truly heard before. Like when you come across a street you’ve never walked down in the town you grew up in, you knew it was there but you never paid attention to it until you had to.
Even my cat, who only responds to the sounds of food pouches opening was twitching about, eyes wide, ears open, sat beside me and took it all in, overwhelmed but undeterred about this endless, familiar, alien plateau. You, like my cat and I will be mesmerised by this trickling delight that will assimilate you into its augmented success of infinite nature and contrived realness.
Stream from here