Close encounter


We are lucky enough to have 18 species of bat in the UK, that’s almost a quarter of our mammal species but we rarely see or hear them and I was interested in giving them a voice.

The recording begins with the sound of a soprano pipistrelle bat hunting, made via a bat detector which converts the ultrasonic bat calls into sounds we can hear.
I wondered about communicating back and recalled the film Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind where tones are used to set up a communication. I decided to use the cello played percussively, and after some experiments used a glass rod for the riff you hear next in the recording.
This riff is picked up by the bat and an improvisation evolves using only the original riffs and their developments. Finally the bat and cello pay together before the bat takes its leave.

Keron Beattie

About: Keron Beattie

I am a contemporary artist living and working in North Norfolk, UK. Much of my work explores transience and the ongoing interplay between life and death and increasing looks to religious traditions and artefacts to give voice to my themes. Echoing Jungian traditions too, I am drawn to the integration or transmutation of differing ideas, identities and structural elements into a balanced whole. The process (at times ritualistic) is an important part of the final work and in some cases is the work itself. The interaction between the found and the new, and between different materials, forms an important part of my practice and many of the works I produce will change over time and may even be transitory themselves.

Categories: Publications