Composing Birds started out of my appreciation, enjoyment, and respect for Alfred Hitchcock’s films. The piece is based entirely on his 1963 production The Birds that distinguishes itself from among other films of Hitchcock (and perhaps most of the Hollywood productions in general) with the complete lack of musical soundtrack. The absence of music in the film gives an impression that the bird noises (apparent throughout) appear as the only musical factor in the film. The absence of soundtrack and the musicality of various bird noises involved was the impetus for my work. It gave me the idea to create an audio-visual representation of Hitchcock’s film using bird noises and audio-visual samples from the film as the basic material. The Max/msp/jitter patch chooses the samples randomly but follows the dramatic trajectory of how I see the Hitchcock film’s plot unfolding. The piece runs from around 9 to 14 minutes, and each of the performance is unique to one another while each follows the same formal development. The example below is an excerpt, a 4-minuite version.

Instrumentation: Max/msp/jitter patch, video projection, 2 channel audio (non-fixed)(no performer)


Duration: 9-14’


2016, Middletown, CT


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Tomasz Arnold

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