Last year I came up with a new idea for a DJ project. It was, at least initially, a complete piss take. I adopted the name Bird Song DJs, took some promo pics of me wearing a plague doctor bird mask and an orange ravers coat and managed to get myself booked for a major UK festival (Bestival) and a couple of smaller intimate shows. The idea was originally that there would be 3 of us adopting the names DJ Robin (well Robin is my real name after all) and the Budgie Twins and that we would play purely ambient music overlaid with the sound of birds twittering.
Unfortunately, the Budgie Twins had to drop out of the project due to other commitments but I flew on and come Bestival what started out as a joke had become a rather beautiful thing. On an evening where there was banging grime, techno and incredibly energised music virtually everywhere else on site, a walk up a hill through near fog brought you to a space of calm and beauty. As a mix of Nils Frahm, Max Richter, The Orb, Jean Michel Jarre and Poppy Ackroyd floated across the landscape in amongst it could be heard the sound of real tweeting and twittering – not that of social media. It was strange and eerie and calming and engulfed you. People stopped, sat down, relaxed and some even meditated and fell asleep. One person commented to me that it was the most perfect thing she had ever heard (she may have been drunk but I like to believe she wasn't) and another phoned her boyfriend to play the sounds enveloping her. It was a huge success and probably my favourite DJ set I’ve ever done.
It also made me think seriously about how important the sound of birdsong and nature is to us all as human beings. Imagine spring without bird song. Imagine summer without a bee’s busy buzz. Yet 56% of UK wildlife is in decline and time’s running out to protect what’s left.
It’s for this reason that this week The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has released a track called Let Nature Sing. Today. there are 40 million fewer birds than there were 40 years ago. The RSPB are saying we need to turn up the volume on nature before it’s too late and are asking people to buy (via a download) or stream the track, which is purely bird song to get the track into the charts.
Currently it seems to be working. In the mid-week charts Stormzy is number 1, Taylor Swift is number 2 but Let Nature Sing is number 11. Which is bloody brilliant. It may not stay that high by the end of the week, but with your help it can. The recording is accompanied by a beautiful video animated video which is perfect for the track (see below).
Let Nature Sing is now guaranteed a place in any future Bird Song Dj sets. If anyone wants to book me to come and do my set, just let me know. Any profits from any fees I make after costs will be given to The RSPB. Download and stream the track to show your support for nature.
The RSPB - Let Nature Sing