disappearance songs is a collection of bird calls from 53 threatened Australian species. And for a while, it was the best-selling album.
Audi Corniche, Host:
For most of December, Adele had the best-selling album in Australia, followed by Ed Sheeran, and then this group of absolute ironies emerged.
(sound of birds chirping)
Mary Louise Kelly, host:
“Disappearance Songs” – It’s a complete album of calls from endangered Australian birds. Last month, it briefly took third place on the country’s top 50 albums chart.
Anthony Albrich: Before meeting Taylor Swift — it feels really good (Laughter).
Kelly: This is Anthony Albrecht, who produced the album with his art organisation, Bowerbird Collective. He’s a musician, and he’s also a Ph.D. Candidate at Charles Darwin University, where his advisor is Professor Stephen Garnett.
Albret: I knew it was an ambitious thing to suggest and – I don’t know. Stephen is a bit crazy like me, and he said, Let’s do this.
CORNISH: “Songs of Disappearance” came out with a university report showing that 1 in 6 Australian bird species is now threatened. 53 of these genres were captured on the album.
Kelly: Now, some sing what you might think are bird songs, but not all songs. Shaun Dooley represents the conservation organization BirdLife Australia.
SEAN DOOLEY: So things like the golden bowerbird – it looks like a death ray from a ’70s sci-fi series.
(Audio simultaneous with Golden Powerbird call)
DOOLEY: And then you get to the frigate of Christmas Island, where the male has a sliver of skin under his chin that bulges out like a giant red balloon. And so when they make these courtship sounds, they sound as amazing as they sound weird.
(Sound in sync with Fragatbird’s call on Christmas Island)
DOOLEY: Then there’s the imperial pigeon on Christmas Island. And when people hear that imperial pigeon, they swear it’s a human who makes silly noises. It’s wonderfully silly.
(Audio simultaneous with Invitation to the Imperial Pigeon Christmas Island)
Kelly: The proceeds from album sales directly benefit Birdlife Australia, and spokesperson Sean Dooley says increased awareness can make a difference.
International: When we have a community on board, it puts pressure on the government to do the right thing. We know that these conservation measures are effective.
CORNISH: Charles Darwin University and BirdLife Australia report successes in protecting endangered birds, with the hope that these tweets will go viral, and more species can be saved.
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