Creative Prompt: Sound: Birds on a wire

Today’s creative prompt is “Sound” – today, I came across and am now curating a true story on how picture became sound…. A composer, Jarbas Agnelli, saw a newspaper photo of birds sitting on telegraph wires, and decided to make music from their placement, like notes on musical notation paper.

He was struck by the beauty of the music – and sent a recording to the photographer who took the original picture (note the honourable way he treated his source) – the photographer (Paulo Pinto) was delighted and then said he had cropped the photo and there were a few extra notes!  When the composer received the extra notes, the composition seemed to come to completeness.

Jarbas Agnelli said:

“I think the lesson that I learned is that it’s possible to see poetry anywhere.  It only depends on the way we look at things.  

It’s possible to do that. It only depends on us having an initiative.

Here is Jarbas, telling the story of his writing with birds, at a TedX talk in Sao Paolo.  (He is speaking in Portuguese, but if you click on the CC for Closed Caption, you will see subtitling in English)

It starts with response.  The photographer saw the birds and stopped to take a photograph.  He decided to show it to the newspaper.  The picture editor decided it was worth printing.  Jarbas was open to influences and looked at his newspaper.  He saw the photo and thought it was intriguing.  He could have smiled and turned the page.  But he acted on – well, it was a prompt.  He tried out the music and worked on orchestrating it.

Hope you are having fun with our creative prompt for today, “sound”.  I know I have.


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