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15 février 2007

Jarvis, Guillemots, Peter Gabriel in BBC Bird Doc

We may know why the caged bird sings, but what about its undomesticated sibling, chirping its little heart out on the power line outside your window? Author/naturalist/esteemed jazz clarinetist David Rothenberg set out to discover just what inspires these feathered friends to burst into song in his 2005 book Why Birds Sing, concluding humankind's avian neighbors sing not just for practical purposes (mating, communication, etc.), but for one of the same reasons we do: pleasure.

Um, like, that's cute and all, but what's a book? We want Rothenberg's ideas distilled into a riveting, uncomplicated television documentary! With music! And famous people! And thanks to the BBC, that's just what we'll get. According to The Guardian, BBC Four will soon premiere Why Birds Sing, an 80-minute documentary inspired by Rothenberg's ideas and packed with guest spots from Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, Laurie Anderson, and Peter Gabriel.

The Cheetah Television-produced film was created in part at Gabriel's Real World Studios and concludes with an all-encompassing musical collaboration featuring Gabriel, Guillemots, Afro-Celt Sound System founder Simon Emmerson, composer Richard Evans, and Van Morrison bandmate Kate St John using "real bird samples to create an undeniably funky dance groove." We are not making that quote up: it's on Real World Studios' website

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