Olaf Nicolai
In The Woods There Is A Bird ...
Public Possession
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7In The Woods There Is A Bird (Complete Album)31:01

“In the woods there is a bird; his song stops you and makes you blush. (...) And finally, whenever you are hungry and thirsty, there’s someone who chases you away“ (Arthur Rimbaud).

IN THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD… is both an ongoing sound and publication project by Olaf Nicolai, published as a contribution to documenta 14 and the documenta 14 radio program.

IN THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD… is based on archival sound material extracted from radio reports, employing radio as a source (rather than a medium of transmission): background sounds of demonstrations, riots, rallies, originally recorded for radio stations all over the world, are used as source material for a soundtrack composed of these various ‘ambiences’. 

The ‘real sounds’ are defined by a lack of reference that is usually added by the auditive or written indices that surround and date them. The affiliated artist´s book IN THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD… reflects not only the process of detaching, mixing, referencing and re-referencing in a visual essay. It also offers for this new composition an index and frames the recorded sounds by presenting a list of the places and dates the events.

N THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD… is conceptualized to generate further interpretations by various collaborators in the form of concrete sound objects and events, ranging from broadcasting to live performances and installational settings. For example, greek viola player Ilias Sdoukos, performed his improvisation on the 6th of April, for the occasion of the opening of documenta 14 in Athens.

The artist´s book IN THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD... is published by Koenig Books.

In the Woods There Is a Bird... Limited edition on vinyl (500 copies), published by Public Possession. PP024.

IN THE WOODS THERE IS A BIRD… Sound Production / Arrangements: Olaf Nicolai, Frank Bretschneider Sound Editing / Mixing: Frank Bretschneider  Length: 31:00 min