Winged Wonderment

In The Goldman Theater

12:00-1:00 California Soundscapes — Nature Sounds Society (Presented by California I CAN and Golden Gate Bird Alliance)

Nature Sounds Society directors Sharon Perry and Dan Dugan will demonstrate how to recognize the elements of a natural soundscape—birdsong in particular—and the basics of nature sound recording while listening to favorite soundscapes from all over California, including Muir Woods, Lava Beds, the Central Valley, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite. The Nature Sounds Society is a world-wide organization whose principal purpose is to encourage the preservation, appreciation, and creative use of natural sounds. The Society promotes education in the technological, scientific, and aesthetic aspects of nature sounds through its programs and a diverse network of contacts.

In The Tamalpais Room

1:10-1:40 California Birds in Contemporary Pomo Art — Meyo Marrufo

California Indian artist, curator, and cultural educator Meyo Marrufo (Eastern Pomo from Clear Lake, tribally from Robinson Rancheria) will show images and share her process of creating her remarkable digital color paintings of traditional California Indian baskets paired with native California birds—giving insights on how the baskets themselves inform her creations. Meyo’s art ranges from digital drawing and prints, to basketry and jewelry. Her unique work merges traditional Indian culture with contemporary art and techniques.

1:45-2:15 The Poetry of Birds — Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day is the author of four poetry chapbooks and seven full-length collections, most recently Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place. She is also the editor of Poetry and Science: Writing Our Way to Discovery, coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California, and author of two children’s books and a memoir. Her many honors include the Blue Light Poetry Prize, two PEN Oakland – Josephine Miles Literary Awards, the Joseph Henry Jackson Award, and eleven Pushcart nominations. She is the publisher of Scarlet Tanager Books.

2:20-2:35 Calling All Birds! — Piedmont High Bird Callers

Students at East Bay’s Piedmont High School have been participating in an annual bird calling contest for 60 years. Begun in 1963, the contest has grown into an annual event that has attracted attention both locally and nationally, with winners profiled in numerous publications and appearing live on David Letterman, Trevor Noah’s Daily Show, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Current student callers will present the common loon, the California gull and other birds at the Festival.

2:40-3:10 “Hearing” the Weather: How Birds Migrate — Michael Stocker

Acoustician Michael Stocker will discuss how migrating birds use a panoply of navigation cues, including geo-magnetic, stellar, barometric, and infrasonic sounds of the environment generated by wind and waves. Michael will explore these various cues and examine how offshore wind farms may be interfering with important meteorological and localization information that birds need for their successful epic journeys.

3:15-3:45 Painting Birds — Obi Kaufmann

Best-selling author and artist Obi Kaufmann will tell a few stories about his adventurers becoming a painter of birds and per his published Field Atlases, the geophysical and anthropogenic forces at work influencing avian biodiversity across California. Obi’s most recent field atlas is the newly-released The Deserts of California (Heyday).

3:55-4:25 Life of the Skies — Jos Sances and Jeffrey Peterson

In this slide presentation, master-printer Jos Sances and bird-photographer Jeff Peterson will share the story of their collaboration on a breathtaking 3- by 5-foot screen print of a Great Egret. The print is being unveiled for the first time at The Berkeley Bird Festival. They’ll discuss the allure of birdlife and why they think that art-making inspired by it is so vitally important in our current moment. Jos Sances has made his living as a printmaker and muralist for more than 45 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He founded Alliance Graphics, a successful union screenprint shop, and several years earlier, co-founded Mission Gráfica at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center. He is also a founding member of The Great Tortilla Conspiracy, a satirical political performance art group. Longtime Richmond resident and award-winning bird photographer Jeffrey Peterson teaches at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, where he offers courses on the literature of birds, rivers, and seas that draw on his passion for language and the natural world.

4:30-5:00 From Twittering Machine to Ambient Bird: Composing with a Bird named Lulu— Wendy Reid

Composer Wendy Reid will talk about her Tree Pieces, ongoing musical processes which reflect nature’s manner of operations, and her African Grey Parrot, Lulu, with whom she has lived for 17 years and whom she credits as co-composer for her recent works. Reid has created a unique musical ‘tree notation’ for these pieces ranging from strictly notated conventional scores to her current quasi-improvisational works, using spatial notation and time frames, read from bottom to top akin to following the growth of a tree. In her Winged Wonderment presentation Wendy will show scores, play excerpts, and talk about her wonderful musical relationship with Lulu.