The dawn chorus is one of the most conspicuous vocal behaviours of birds, and one of the least understood. Near sunrise, birds sing more loudly and vigorously than they do at any other time of the day. The birdsongs are delivered most frequently each day for a period of 30 to 45 minutes before daybreak.

dawn chorus (2014) is a sound installation created for the gardens of the Gennadius library in Athens.

The work uses recordings of birds collected by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and re-orchestrates the dawn chorus phenomenon in the most realistic way. This ‘orchestration of bird-songs’ can only be heard just before the daily closure of the exhibition. Counter to their habit of erupting into song at dawn, the Gennadius garden responds at the wrong time of day. This displacement of sounds in time invites visitors to dwell on possible endings and beginnings.

dawn chorus was commissioned by the NEON foundation in conjunction to the exhibition ‘A Thousand Doors’, curated by Iwona Blazwick.