Rest in Peace

Ok, that is enough for 2013!

If bad things happen in threes, then a trilogy is now complete.

First we lost Mike Hopkins

Then the very recent news of mixer & sound editor Mike Jones death.

And then very recently it was revealed conservationist and sound recordist John Kendrick has skipped off this mortal coil..

Those of you outside New Zealand will likely not have heard one lovely gesture Mr Kendrick made, many years ago which has gone on to be enjoyed by multiple generations. Each morning just before the news on National Radio, it has become a tradition that bird song is played and this tradition did no occur by accident, quoting from the Radio New Zealand website:

Mr Kendrick spent 20 years filming and recording wildlife throughout New Zealand while working for the Wildlife Service.

He began donating recordings to Radio New Zealand in the late 1960s when he became irritated with what he described as “the monotonous squawk” heard regularly on the airwaves and decided to supply more pleasing birdcalls.

“The director of national programmes of the day was a little bit hesitant, but I felt it was a good idea to share these recordings with the general public of New Zealand.

“So I said, ‘Well, give it a go’. They put them on and they got a good reaction from the public apparently and it’s just kept on going all these years.”

Thank you Mr Kendrick

Apparently his favourite call was the kokako “because of it’s sort of mystic, wonderful echoing organ-like notes.”

I personally have never heard a kokako with my own ears – I have heard recordings, including Mr Kendricks and I would describe its call as emotive, almost mournful – if a bird can sing in a minor key then I strongly suspect the kokako is it. But I will definitely get my chance – when meeting with park rangers last month and discussing my Artists Residency in Little Huia I was thrilled to learn that there are kokako confirmed living in the Waitakare Ranges. I don’t mind if I have to stay out all day & night, I will persevere until I witness the kokako with own ears. And with my microphones!

Rest in peace, Mike, Mike and John – my thoughts are with your family and friends.

2 Responses to Rest in Peace

  1. David Talmage says:

    Tim, see if you can make it over to Tiri Tiri Matangi – I’ve heard kokako there, and apparently there’s a spot where they come down to feed most days

    • tim says:

      thanks David, as i will be based in the Waitaks for 2 months and Kokako are confirmed in Cascades area i will try it first… good to know there is a second option, thanks

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