Sounded Drawing – Donald Urquhart

Swifts

Soundings by Kathleen Coessens and Ann Eysermans as part of the concert performance with art performance by Donald Urquhart

Swifts - Donald Urquhart

Swifts – Donald Urquhart

The reason I chose the swifts was very much an initial response of thinking about the idea of a measurement of time that wasn’t clock-dependent. Both the visibility of swifts in the skies and the sound of these migratory birds provide a background presence for a period of the year. It is part of our observation and time experience that relates to the tilt of the earth and its relationship to the sun, happening year after year for millennia.

There is no sound or visual sign of a swift in the sky that naturally occurs in October, November or January. Their sudden noise in the sky marks one of the clearest divisions in a year, which is the warm weather from the cold weather – winter and summer. The birds arrive in spring, and leave in autumn so, when the last swift leaves, you know it is about to get colder.

But you can walk on a winter’s day and remember when the swifts were flying about and when the sky was in anticipation of that coming round again, so the idea of this work is that the lines won’t completely disappear. There will be vague traces of them left.

Donald Urquhart Interview

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