Michael Thomas Hill‘s installation was completed in 2011 and is located in an alleyway next to Angel Place, a recital hall in Sydney, Australia. Forgotten Songs commemorates the birds once heard in Central Sydney before they were gradually forced out by European settlement. “Some of these birds can still be heard on the city margins where they find food and shelter in thick native vegetation. Others have retracted still further.” The installation plays the songs of the daytime birds during the day and the songs of the nocturnal birds into the late eventing.
Initially meant to be temporary, the artwork was made a permanent public installation by public demand. “The public outcry led to 180 new rustproof cages to be re-installed with 10 speakers that play the sweet songs of 50 bird species. As a nice touch, the names of the birds that once populated the area are engraved on the paved stones beneath the cages.”