one thousand birds symphony

In May 2020 Sound Gallery was awarded Arts Council Emergency Response Funding. This grant offered us a lifeline during the lockdown in the pandemic and allowed us to make changes in our operations and put safety measures in order to continue to support our local music scene and musicians as well as the wider music industry and creative industries. 

As part of this grant, Sound Gallery’s creative team launched a new project ‘The 1000 Birds Symphony – Letters from Isolation’ which is conceived and directed by Sound Gallery’s founder Grice Peters. The ‘1000 Birds Symphony’ is a new music commission produced through remote collaboration between Sound Gallery’s creative team and musicians who are isolated during lockdown.

The original concept of the project is to record and collate a number of field recordings of birdsong which would be arranged and produced by Grice into a series of emotive pieces using digitally manipulated voices of 1000 birds combined with instrumental elements to create ‘Letters from Isolation’. A short promotional video including on location filming and still images of the different bird species involved in the recordings is also going to be produced by Sound Gallery’s team. 

The ‘1000 Birds Symphony ‘involves artistic collaboration, new technology, innovation, community engagement and is a creative way of raising awareness of our connection with the natural world and it fragile inhabitants, birds: the forgotten musicians, the troubadours of hope.

The Emergency Response Fund will also enable Sound Gallery to develop and diversify its services to respond to the challenges that face as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the music industry, recording studios and musicians.

The fund will also be used to:

develop new services, including online music technology tutorials, music industry advice sessions and online mixing and mastering services

develop new ways of working remotely

encourage online artistic collaborations

upgrade our website to represent our current services and make it more accessible to the public.  

It is important in the current climate to have a strong online and social media presence as a recording studio and hub of creativity.

The fund will help our organisation emerge through this crisis so we can continue to service our community and be a sonic beacon for musicians and artists in Exeter.

A big thank you goes out to The National Lottery, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Players. 


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This project was made possible thanks to support from the Emergency Response Fund (Arts Council England)

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