Whirinake Forest, North Island, New Zealand
Dawnsong of Tuis
This album is an hour of pure Tui bliss.
The Tui (pronounced "too-ee"), a native honeyeater of New Zealand, has one of the most extraordinary voices of the bird world.
Their vocabularies consist of fluting and ringing bell-like tones, along with wheezy whistles, buzzes, clucks and sounds almost too high for the human ear.
This recording will take you to the majestic old-growth forest of Whirinake, to hear a sublimely musical chorus of Tuis singing in the hour before dawn.
In the darkness, the first Tuis begin calling - languidly, lazily. There are many in this forest, and their calls echo among the huge trees from near and far. As first light begins to pale the eastern sky, they gradually call more frequently.
Every now and then, families of Kakas, a large New Zealand parrot, can be heard trilling and screeching, their voices blending harmoniously with the Tuis. Eventually the full dawn chorus begins, marked by the waking of native Robins and Long-tailed Cuckoos.
The Tuis gradually fall silent, allowing other species to take their place in the dawn proceedings. At this point, we segue to the other end of the day, to hear Tui's roosting at dusk, along with the first stirrings of Boobook Owls.
"As I stood in the darkness that morning, under giant tree ferns, hearing those first Tuis singing, I knew it would be a special recording. It was one of those moments that I hope to hear; when nature puts on a real 'concert'.
The calls of Tuis vary around the country, as they have distinct regional dialects - this recording documents a particularly beautiful one.
Often several Tuis call simultaneously, their voices forming clusters of notes. Then there are silences too, particularly early on when they call less frequently. The soundscape this creates has a rich sense of space.
We've prepared this recording as a meditation, featuring those restful times at the very beginning and end of the day."
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