The Great Cormorant – a Bird Worthy of a Song

Chorus Sinesis: Iina Ukkonen, kuva / image: Jan Eerala.

We invite everyone to join us to hear about cormorants! As part of the Environmental Humanities Month’s programme, we organize an online event open to everyone about these big black birds and Chorus sinensis on Wednesday 9 November 2022 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

During The Great Cormorant – a Bird Worthy of a Song event curator Ulla Taipale talks about cormorants, the Baltic Sea and Chorus sinensis and shows audio-visual material exhibited in Pori Art Museum last summer.

“A big blackguard of a bird that depletes fisheries and with its droppings brings death to verdant places pleasing to the human eye – this is one possible way of describing the great cormorant. Black bird, white droppings; a black-and-white image of a bird. The black of the cormorant is a dirty, evil black, its skill in catching fish a form of catastrophic greed, its communal life polluting and destructive. That is what it looks like when you regard the bird and its nature from on high, scanning for signs of nuisance and disorder.

Are other stories and images of the great cormorant possible? Is this bird worthy of a human song? Can there be poems about a bird that never sings, about a bird that some people regard as a nuisance? What will be the great cormorant’s tale told in the future?” – Karoliina Lummaa, The Great Cormorant – a Bird Worthy of a Song, 2021

Chorus sinensis is an audio-visual choral work dedicated to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis). It was produced between 2019 and 2022 in the coastal areas of the Bothnian Sea, where human and seabird territories overlap. The work asks: Is the great cormorant worthy of a human song?

Conceived and curated by Ulla Taipale, the piece combines videos, photographs and recordings made by artist Jan Eerala, with a choral composition inspired by the great cormorant written by composer and sound artist Lau Nau. The team includes Karoliina Lummaa, a literary researcher specialising in bird literature; Merja Markkula, a biologist and artist who served as costumier in the project; and the Poseidon choir: Kristina Bakić, Eeva Bergroth, Anna Jussilainen, Tuija Kuoppamäki, Aleksi Pihkanen, Sami Siitojoki, Teemu Suuntamaa, Susanne Ådahl and Iina Ukkonen.

See the trailer of Chorus sinensis >>

IHME Helsinki organizes the online event open for all in Zoom. Register for the event to get the link to Zoom by 9 November 1 p.m. >>

The event is held in English.

Chorus sinensis is part of the Nordic The Conference of the Birds project

It is supported by

Pori Art Museum
Nordic Culture Point
Nordic Culture Fund
Finnish Art Council
Niilo Helander Foundation
Samuel Huber Art Foundation