Bird Chamber


Four-channel sound installation

Photo of Bird Chamber by Nicholas Brown installed in Greenwich, London

Programme notes

Bird Chamber features part of the set from Nicholas Brown’s 2008 installation-performance, As I Have Now Memoyre. Four ‘birds’ in four handmade bird boxes, which hang from the walls of a polythene chamber, give a ‘performance’ of a Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33, No. 3, ‘The Bird’.

The work continues Nicholas Brown’s series of bird box installations that investigate issues in musical aesthetics. Historically, classical composers have been keen to imitate the natural world in their musical works. The sound of a violin, for instance, has been used to imitate the sound of a bird. In Bird Chamber, the situation is reverse: ‘birds’ imitate the musical work of an eighteenth-century composer.

Bird Chamber was exhibited for the duration of the inugural Greenwich International String Quartet Festival within the eighteenth-century architecture of King Charles Court at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.