In the dark, your fingers confirm the shape of the land. Ammassalik wooden maps are carved, tactile maps of the Greenlandic coastlines. Each cove couples with a dialect of bird. The trained ear superimposes the sound of the birds to where you want to alight. A way to listen to where to aim your craft. One recalls Louise Lawler’s Birdcalls; another Michael Winslow’s History of the Typewriter. When I hear Dr. Westphal I hear an Emotional Architecture, a structure of listening, as he says, in respect and humility. An interrelationship of hearing environment and another species coupled together coupled to him. It takes wings to see the nearest things, says Rilke in German in my English.
To bird call is to be an expert in listening. It is to choreograph the precise relational anatomy of the throattonguelarynxvocalfoldslipspalateairear with other autonomic systems. It is to turn hearing into listening, churn milk into butter. Humans use 2% of their breath when making sounds. Maybe listening requires some of the other 98% to know what not to say. Birds breathe through their syrinx. Syrinx is also the goddess transformed into reeds. I enjoyed all the times we turned into reeds together. You make a peculiar, haunting sound when chased. This is the same with Wildschwein sounds.