From here to ear v.19, running until March 27th at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It consists of more than 70 Zebra finches, 10 Gibson Les Pauls, 4 Gibson Thunderbirds, 7 cymbals and 4 amps, all sequestered inside a giant aviary. These are top of the line electric guitars and the Thunderbirds are electric bass guitars.

The guitars are mounted on stands so that the front of the guitar is level with the volume and tone controls, strings and playing surface providing a flat surface for the finches to perch on. The finches have a penchant for perching on the strings and every now and then jump up and down on them. The guitars are in blues and power chord open tunings so that when a bird lands on them they produce a chord.

And now for the piece de resistance, in this work of art the viewer becomes the audience for the sounds being produced, the viewer of more than 70 small colourful birds in sometime motion and active participant in creating those sounds. This is the 19th time that French artist Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s  from here to ear has been mounted and it is the largest version to date. Anyone who likes John Cage is bound to like this.


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