At the Edge of the Meander: Nightingales in Petite Camargue Alsacienne, Saint Louis, France | 30:56 minutes | TWIN-004
Multichannel microphone array recordings made with Schoeps Collette near field capsules.
Recorded in St. Louis, France May 2011
Mastered in Brooklyn, NY USA
Released: May 10, 2021
TWIN ⰂⰕ 004
Design: Ian Epps
Label: Twinned ⰂⰕ Air
Petite Camargue, May 10th, 2011 - Nightingales Singing at 2 AM
The following recording was excerpted from a two week, 24 hour seamless recording project
documenting the mating habits of Nightingales.
10 years ago this week.
Location: Petite Camargue Alsacienne sanctuary in Saint Louis, France.
At the edge of a field of stinging nettles lie a creek bed, and on the other side, a tree. I placed a series
of concealed microphones just above a favored branch where a young male Nightingale perched to sing
morning and night. I was fortunate to have found such a great placement for the microphones, because
these recordings have unbelievable clarity.
Male nightingales have a remarkable set of varied song; nearly 200 different song types with repeated
and unrepeated elements. Their unique songs are what set them apart in partner selection. During
mating season they'll sing all night and day, with just a 2 hour break in the afternoon. Once they find a
mate, they stop singing at night.
As noise pollution has risen throughout society, the British nightingale population has decreased by 91%
over the last 50 years. One of the fastest declines of any other species. They remain on the endangered
species list in the UK.
Being given permission to travel inside the sanctuary was truly a beautiful experience. To enter a space
free of people, inhabited by hundreds of wild boar, swans, cuckoos and nightingales on their long
migratory travel from the Iberian Peninsula and the far reaches of West Africa - was to listen to a fuller
expression of liberation.
I owe gratitude to the assistance of the joint research teams from the University of Strasbourg and the
University of Basel, Department of Environmental Sciences.
Portions of this two week recording project were included in Vera Lutter's "One Day", 2011, a two screen
installation exhibited at Gagosian Gallery and Carré d'Art – Musée d'art Contemporain, Nîmes, France.
This recording has also been included in the
NTS Radio Infinite Mixtapes series. Launched June 1, 2021