Songs of Lyrebirds Sung to Glaciers

Songs of Lyrebirds Sung to Glaciers

A post-human understanding of anthropogenic landscapes- bookending the 2020 Australian summer fires between the sonic memories of the lyrebirds and the reflective properties of ice.
Considering these two landscapes, connected now by the ash from the fires, embedded in glacial ice. To reflect one within the other; the birds narration of its bush, echoed to the treeless NZ glacier landscape of the NZ Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana.

Work in progress. Above: glacier scientists play songs of lyrebirds to the Tasman glacier while studying the impact of ash from the Australian bushfires, collected in 2020.

Lyrebirds; intelligent, long-lived and highly skilled avian makers of sound and dance, are well known for their mimicry of the birds in their environment. The sonic historians of the forest.

In the 2020 fires in the Blue Mountains near Sydney Australia 50% of the local lyrebird populations died. The fire was the ultimate result of a hotter warmer climate from global warming.

Ash from the 2020 summer bush fires was windblown across the Tasman, landing on the New Zealand alps.

Researchers in NZ are looking at the future impact of ash (from hotter drier Australian summers) on the melting of NZ glaciers, through decreased reflectivity and increased snow algae.

This line of inquiry connects animal behaviour research, bird studies from habitat loss, glacial studies and snow micro-climate research.

Right: Found footage, lyrebird singing his forest in the Blue Mountains forest 2019 and ash from the forest fires on the Tasman Glacier 2020.

A collapse of song in carbon.

Research background and collaborators:

Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature,
You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows,
Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings:
Turn your minds to our words, our ethereal words, for the words of the birds last forever!

—Aristophanes, The Birds