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Starlings and helicopters – Central Park sounds

The latest excerpt from our Sounding Nature project is an examination of the urban sounds of nature, taken from Central Park in New York City.

Hundreds of starlings argue, fight and feed in this world-famous park, but their calls have to compete with an incredible amount of urban noise – this recording demonstrates just how.

Throughout the  recording, the intense drone of central Manhattan can be heard, and the sound of passing helicopters punctuates what small amount of piece there is in this urban sanctuary several times during just this short recording.

The recording was reimagined by Stanislas Nikolov, who writes:

“In this piece, I wanted to play with time and frequency to explore the richness of the organic and synthetic in bird calls and helicopter drones.

“I pitched the bird calls down in frequency to create lower and more extended tones. I also pitched the recording up and used very short loops to create synthetic-sounding noises from the organic sounds.

“To reference another source of organic tones, I closed the piece with a chorus of very pitched down crickets recorded on my terrace in Bulgaria.”