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Irish Rail users will be treated to birdsong on their morning commute

The project highlights the dramatic reduction in noise pollution in Ireland during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

IRISH RAIL CUSTOMERS will be treated to birdsong as they wait for their morning train at stations across the country from today. 

On Chorus is a public art project by sound artist Christopher Steenson. The project will use Irish Rail’s train station PA systems to play the sound of birdsong from 8am to 9am until 29 November.

The project highlights the dramatic reduction in noise pollution in Ireland during the first Covid-19 lockdown in Ireland.

During this time, the sounds of towns and cities across Ireland were filled with the clear and uninterrupted sound of birdsong, which provided a stark contrast to the sounds of cars, planes and other machinery that usually consume our urban soundscapes.

The sounds played on Iarnród Éireann’s PA systems was recorded by Steenson during the first few weeks of lockdown, in inner-city Dublin last Spring.

On Chorus uses birdsong as a vehicle for highlighting the biodiversity of urban environments, emphasising the rich variety of wildlife that exists in town and cities, which can go unnoticed amongst the noisy commotion of our daily lives.

At the same time that birdsong will be heard in train stations, birdsong will also play on the website created especially for the project.

The website will provide information about the project, as well as presenting a series of 35mm photographs created by Christopher Steenson.

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“Birdsong is something that is very dear to my heart,” said Niall Hatch, head of development and communications with BirdWatch Ireland,

“Throughout Covid-19 restrictions, it became even more important to me, as I know it did to people all across the country,” he said.

“Hearing the sound of the birds singing around my home, and especially the beauty of the dawn chorus, became a real source both of entertainment and of comfort to thousands of people, many of whom had never really paid it much heed before.”

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