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  • 1 year ago
The Pigeon Whistles

The Pigeon Whistles

The sound of music flying through the air, carried on the tails of pigeons.

"I knew it was a noise maker, but it was the only thing in the museum that I had no idea what it might sound like. Because it works in a way no other instrument does. No other instrument physically moves around you in space, flying overhead, and that seemed like magic".

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 thuosands 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.'"

Enter Pete Petravicius, Nottinghamshire ex-miner and steeplejack.