Music at the Currency of Birdsong event - Linsey Pollak, Vanessa Tomlinson, Maya Ward

Music at the Currency of Birdsong event - Linsey Pollak, Vanessa Tomlinson, Maya Ward

Currency of Birdsong

What if we used wild birdsong as an indicator of success and status? Instead of asking about jobs or money, we might ask of any process: “yes, but does it produce birdsong?” The currency of birdsong would be seasonal, diverse, and biogeographic; bird habitats would be more important than banks; value would be tied to the ritual of everyday’s dawning and twilight; outside life connected to local places.

We use money as an easy exchange mechanism for goods and services, but why does it also buy us value and status? The shared resource of birdsong might make us all rich, placing value upon the ecoregion, the real and the wild.

Birdsong has proven human health benefits, links us to nature’s everyday with immediacy, and offers beauty in a broken world. Moving slowly, another soap opera emerges in the daily dramas of birdlife; we recognise alarm calls, and then see the hawk. The boasting egos and the gentle reassurances might form the intent, but there is magic, artistry, and pure joy in the song. In listening, we find a natural stillness of place, and a wilder power than that which we derive from our limited human economies.

This program and catalogue showcases artists’ offerings around the Currency of Birdsong theme. Artists were drawn from the pool of musicians, composers, soundscape artists, dancers, writers, poets, painters, printmakers, weavers, potters, paper makers, woodworkers, glass makers, jewelers, furniture designers, and craftspeople who have been involved as artists-in-residence, teachers, or students at the Cooroora Institute since its inception.

Installations and/or Exhibition

Ross Annels, Leah Barclay, Ros Bandt, Miriam Carpenter, Anne Harris, Rex Kalehoff, Sue McLean, Graeme Priddle

Performances and/or Workshops

Linsey Pollak with Kacey Patrick, Vanessa Tomlinson, Zsuzsi Soboslay, Kari, Stephen Roberts

Other artists and individuals involved in Currency of Birdsong research include: Beverly Hand, Rob Fleming, Pajda Perina, Jo Tito, Julie Robson, Mayrah Driese, Fairlie Sandilands, Suze Van Der Beek, Peter McAdam, Emily Wilson, Peter Brandis, Cathy Fitzgerald, John Danalis and Maya Ward.


Sunshine Coast Council

Karen Juliet Alexander, in memory of her sister Belinda.

Thank you to the many volunteer workers and helpers in building, gardening, and set up.

Bird habitat

Emily’s Choir Garden is a small demonstration garden of local natives recently planted to attract specific local songbirds.

Bird habitat plants supplied by Land for Wildlife, available by donation.

Vicky Blackall from the Eumundi Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre released rehabilitated native local birds.


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