California Bird Singing Doc to Screen at Canon Experience Center

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown June 2nd, 2016 Last Updated on: June 2nd, 2016


We've featured many stunning photos and video from Albert Chacon on our website before. You might remember he was the producer of the We Are Birds documentary about bird singing culture in the Southern California Native communities. His documentary caught the eye of the Canon corporation and they will be screening the film for the public at their Canon Experience Center in Costa Mesa, CA!

To RSVP for a screening, please follow the below links. The film will screen Saturday, July 16, 2016 with a showtime of 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.



Composer and violist Eyvind Kang recently watched the film and this was his reaction to it:

“The tremendous resurgence of Native cultures that is occurring throughout North America carries profound meaning for music of all kinds. In particular, the Birdsinging traditions of the American Southwest, which are currently enjoying a major resurgence, have the capacity to radically restructure other musical knowledges.

The Cahuilla nation of Southern California is famed for its cultural heritage which includes the cycle of Cahuilla Birdsongs, a repertoire of almost 400 songs whose complete performance can last for several days. According to community tradition, the current resurgence traces its origins to the emergence of three master singers, Alvino Siva, Robert Levi, and Anthony “Biff” Andreas. The most esteemed singers of the present generation include the respected Elders Walter Holmes Jr. and Wally Antone.

“We Are Birds” is the first documentary which weaves together the perspectives of the leading authorities and practitioners of contemporary Birdsinging, youth and Elders alike, creating a picture of the broader meaning of the resurgence of one of the world's richest musical traditions.

With big-hearted generosity towards its subjects and viewers, the film serves as an ideal introduction to Birdsinging which quickly leads into great depth, culminating in a moving audio recording of the late Alvino Siva and Katherine Siva Saubel singing together in the traditional style.

While conveying what Walter Holmes Jr. calls the glory of the culture, the film situates itself as a part of the general resurgence of Indigeneity, demonstrating the possibility of simultaneously following the strict protocols of tradition while gathering the courage to live this tradition in today's technological era.”


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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Jacob G Marquez

In the article, you acknowledged three of the Four Master Bird Singers… My Great Grandfather Francisco Patencio Jr. Aka Frank Joe Patencio…

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