Amanecer con las Oropendolas

Back in May 2012, when I stayed in Honduras for the first time. La Playa Escondida, Triunfo de
la Cruz. Each morning I was waking up with the sounds of Oropendolas, other birds, insects, frogs, and surf of the Caribbean Sea. It was an everyday great pleasure for me to hear these surprising sounds few seconds or minutes after I opened my eyes, still under my mosquito net.

Nests of these Oropendolas were hanging in a big and beautiful tree on the beach. 38 of them were hanging in that tree.

It was during the mating season for Oropendolas: Montezuma Oropendolas (Psarocolius Montezuma).

The first 20 minutes of this dreamlike sonic composition are as much a sound picture of this colony of birds as a portrait of the tree which sheltered it, and the soundscape around.

August 2012, I went back to the same place but the birds had quit the tree to another place. Only the nests were still hanging with few males keeping an eye on them. No more electric-like sounds from the Oropendolas to wake me up…
Few days later I moved to a wildlife refuge in the mangroves (Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado). There, one of the first things I noticed: Oropendolas were flying around.

This time they were many chicks of Oropendolas calling for food. I don’t know if it was the same colony I met 80 km from this place 3 months before. All the sounds were very different. In the 6 minutes field recorded there, we can feel tension between the birds. I guess because of the storm that was approaching from the sea. A horse is getting nervous, feeling the change in the weather too. This was happening at dawn.

Amanecer con las Oropendolas belongs to a série of dreamlike sonic compositions with field
recordings mostly from nature recorded in Honduras during two travels there in 2012.

All sounds were field recorded on the North Coast of Honduras on 17 May 2012 in La Playa Escondida, Triunfo de la Cruz, and on 16 August 2012 in a wildlife refuge in the middle of mangroves (Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado). Edited, composed and mastered at Studio No*Mad in Paris from June 2012 to June 2013.

Front cover picture from the Andara Painting série by Frédéric Nogray.
Many thanks to Marcella Perdomo (without whom nothing of this could have been possible), Arturo Flores (the guardian of the solitary tree on the beach), Ana Padilla, Ana Angela Randazo y Don Fernando Cruz (Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cuero y Salado), AETA Audio system, David Vélez and Impulsive Habitat.
-Frédéric Nogray

01. Amanecer con las Oropendolas
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artwork/cover design:
©2013 Frédéric Nogray
©2013 David Vélez
©2013 Frédéric Nogray
©2013 Impulsive Habitat

This work is licensed under a BY-NC-SA 3.0
Creative Commons License.

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