Nathaniel Mann exhibition "Pigeon Whistles"

  • Pigeon Whistles: An Orchestra in Flight, Oxford University's Pitt River Museum.
    24 November 2017 - 4 March 2018

    Pigeon Whistles is a unique compositional project which Mann devised whilst artist-in-residence at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum. Mann formed the idea in response to the collections housed in the museum and developed throughout 2013. Pigeon Whistles delivers an incomparable sonic experience as 14 Birmingham Roller Pigeons, each wearing a small bespoke flute upon its tail, create clouds of shifting tone directly above the audience.

    Inspired by the Chinese pigeon whistles in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, Nathaniel Robin Mann decided he wanted to revive the ancient art of pigeon whistling, a tradition possibly thousands of years old, in which tiny flutes are attached to pigeons in flight. His experience with birds, however, was limited and he needed a bird expert. "None of the pigeon racers wanted to get involved in a music project. Then someone said, 'Well, there's this guy in Nottingham who has a loft made of an old hutch that he straps to the back of his scooter. They call him Pigeon Pete.'"

    For more information visit
    Listen to The Pigeon Whistles BBC Radio 4 programme
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