Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Wall of Birdsong

Each morning now, as first light flutters up against the mountains to our east, I am brought awake by the collective of songbirds singing outside my house.  Though potentially discordant, with trilling meadowlarks upstaging chickadees and vesper sparrows lilting alongside bluebird’s twittering through their songs of dawn, the birds somehow manage a loud, sweet symphony.
I often remain in my bed for a few minutes, listening to the birdsong choir.  My house is just remote enough that beyond the immediate birds singing here there are other, more distant birds, singing.  Only rarely does extraneous noise bite into the morning music.
It satisfies me to listen.
This morning, as I lay near the open window of my bedroom, listening, I thought about the famous (now infamous) music producer, Phil Spector.  Spector, in shaping some of the greatest rock hits of the 1960s, created what he called a “wall of sound.”   In his own words, the music was “a case of augmenting, augmenting.”  Spector added strings, woodwind, and brass to rock songs.  He saturated every second of a song.  In the studio, Spector might overlay several instruments to create one sound.  He used multiple microphones at once.
The birds are something like that.  The first hour is a wall of birdsong.

--Mitchell Hegman