Frog Pond Trail. This is a municipal park owned and managed by the HRM. From the parking lot a 1.4K crusher dust trail loops around the pond. Great for bird watching. Cats not invited.
Please don't cover your ears
…can be accessed anywhere at any time, on the “Carry the Spark” EP on Bandcamp!
Birds have offered me beautiful experiences throughout my life with their music. I can recall the haunting duet of loons, the ethereal whimsy of the hermit thrush and my general relief each year as birdsong joins the sunrise in Spring. 'Please don't cover your ears' was co-written with the Robin, the Blackburnian Warbler, the Red-winged Blackbird, the Hermit Thrush, the Winter Wren, and the Grey Catbird. All of these songbirds spend part of their lives in Nova Scotia, a home that is increasingly threatened by the resource-competitive nature of human expansion.
Inspired by the writings of Adrienne Maree Brown and Robin Wall Kimmerer, I approached this composition as an opportunity to invite my audience's attention to the pleasure and joy of songbirds as musicmakers. In learning and notating each of their age-old folk songs, I became more familiar with the birds. Each hermit thrush, for example, has a voice with unique tone and timbre that can be passed down over generations. You will hear a hermit thrush open this composition. Later, the violins play its song to accompany the second verse. The Blackburnian Warbler, a small black-and-orange songbird, wrote the driving rhythm of the strings. This warbler prefers to nest up high in mature hemlocks. We do not see it as often in a province with so little old growth forest left. The vocal melody of this piece is the robin's song. The robin's song is changing, sung earlier in the day as cities brighten and higher in pitch as noise pollution increases. The song of the grey catbird, which can last up to ten minutes, is featured in the violin solo. The red-winged blackbird is heard in the violins at the beginning of the piece and joins its voice with the winter wren at the close.
These birds offer their songs so freely into the world. It was a gift to collaborate with them.
The transcript or descriptive text for this piece can be found by touching the "Text" button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen in the "View the Art" section.
Blue Lobelia is the indie-folk project of classically trained violinist and soprano Rachel Bruch. Her debut album Perennial (2016) was “…an ebb and flow of sound — sometimes a sparkling brook, sometimes a tidal wave of different thoughts and feelings created by her innovative looping”. The latest release, Beneath all Bloom (2019), was named ‘2019’s Best Album’ by Halifax’s The Coast. With strong themes of dreamscape, motherhood and mother earth, Blue Lobelia continues to write, record and showcase her work throughout the Maritimes.
Listen, the cat’s out of the bag: domestic cats are the primary killer of songbirds. Ouch. In the 2000’s, the EAC’s Bird Conservation Committee was growing increasingly concerned about the diminishing population of our delightful songbirds. They produced pamphlets, helped organize events and worked with various veterinarians to reach cat owners. Their goal was to provide public information regarding the cat overpopulation crisis and offer insights on how to turn an outdoor cat into a happy indoor cat, so as to prevent endangering our songbird species. Have you heard of a catio?
It may be one of EAC's most controversial campaigns to date, as some outdoor cat owners were not impressed and accused the EAC of being cat-haters.