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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 17:58 GMT
Shopping to the sound of birdsong
Dartford warbler
Warblers are among the birds featured in the recordings
Visitors to a Teesside town centre are in for a week-long tweet!

The usual accompaniment to a shopping trip might be the sound of colliding trolleys and piped music, but visitors to Middlesbrough are hearing birdsong.

The Mall's public address system is piping out the soothing sounds as part of a unique audio arts project.

The Now Hear This project, features recorded songs of birds like waders and warblers put together by artist Marcus Coates and recordist Geoff Sample.

Busy shoppers will hear the sounds of large flocks of waders feeding at low tide alongside the sounds of feeding and foraging and the everyday chit chat of birds going about their business.

Darkly amusing

David McNee, general manager of the Mall, said: "This is something completely different and we hope entertaining for shoppers.

"We are a modern, community mall and we want to be part of the fabric of Middlesbrough and the wider North East so we see becoming involved in arts projects like this as an opportunity."

The birds were recorded at sites across the north-east of England, including the Tees Estuary, and species captured on tape include warblers, tits, thrushes, finches and waders.

Marcus Coates is an artist who has established a reputation for his ability to compare human and animal life in a humorous and often darkly amusing way.

The project runs from 28 February until 8 March.


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