“When Erik Kessels and I first spoke about making a record mixing birdsong and plane noises, I thought it was a ridiculous idea,” says designer and artist Anthony Burrill.
This was the starting point for their new collaborative project, a record that Burrill describes as a “carefully arranged audio collage” of birdsong and the sound of aeroplanes.
Kessels is well known for his unconventional approach to creativity, while a lesser known fact about Burrill is that, before becoming a designer, he had a brief spell as the de facto creative director of a student-run illegal rave called Heck Ta Sea in the late 80s. In a strange way then, their new collaboration makes total sense.
Burrill and Kessels brought in producer Malcolm Goldie, known for his subversive approach and sense of humour, to help produce the record. The end result is a 20 minute listening experience that features the sounds of the House Sparrow, Airbus A320, Blue Tit, Boeing 777X, Wood Pigeon and a Cessna 172, among others.
As for the design of the record sleeve, it combines Burrill’s distinctive style of letterpress and spliced imagery of an Air Canada plane and a robin – because … why not?
“Now that we’ve made the record and are ready to release it I still think it’s mad [but] sometimes it’s good to make idiotic things happen,” says Burrill. “In times where the sound of birds and aeroplanes are absent due to the fact we have to stay indoors, this record could provide the ultimate, but disturbing, mix of both of them.”