Songbird

Virtual Reality

Songbird: a virtual moment of extinction

One of Guardian’s VR’s most creative works, Songbird is a fairytale with a dark heart.

The piece transports you to the island of Kauai, Hawaii, in 1984 and into a painted replica of a lush cloud forest filled with colourful birds. Here, you are invited to search for the last known ʻōʻō, an iconic black bird with yellow leg feathers and a beautiful song, a bird whose existence has been threatened to the point of extinction.

The hand-painted artwork and animation was created by Uri and Michelle Kranot of the production studio TinDrumHenrik Oppermann created the fully spatialised soundscape of recordings of extinct birds – sonic fossils – combined with authentic sounds from the Kauai’an wet forest. The British actor Siân Phillips narrates the piece.

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