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.