Radio 3 is to broadcast a track of birdsong every Sunday morning as it launches a “slow radio” bid to help the nation get back to nature.
The BBC station is to run snippets of birdsong at around two minutes long, as part of a new breakfast-time feature starring nightingales, cuckoos and garden warblers.
It follows Radio 4’s successful Tweet of the Day slot, which airs bird calls alongside a short segment of information about the bird itself.
Radio 3’s version will attempt to marry the popularity of the early-morning clip with a trend for “slow tv”, pioneered in Scandinavia and recently broadcast to critical acclaim on BBC Four, with radio.
It comes as part of a series of commissions by new Radio 3 controller Alan Davey, as he and the BBC fight to prove they are sufficiently distinctive from their commercial rivals.
The station broadcast its first Breakfast Birdsong this weekend, marking “international dawn chorus day”, and now intends to make it a weekly slot.
Other birdsong-related shows will see Radio 3’s Late Junction and World on 3 record a special show as folk arist Sam Lee and musicians perform in the Sussex woodland to explore whether the nightingales will join in.
It is intended to echo a famous 1924 BBC broadcast, which saw cellist Beatrice Harrison perform in her garden while a nightingale sang along.
Later in the summer, Radio 3 will also broadcast from the Aldeburgh Festival, where an orchestra will perform Messiaen’s birdsong-inspired Catalogue d’Oiseaux at moments from dawn until full darkness, to reflect the chorus of the birds that inspired it.
Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3, said: “BBC Radio 3 wants to connect people with remarkable music and culture, and one way we can do that is to encourage people to discover a different pace and to reconnect with both music and the world around them in a distinctive and beautiful way.
“We know our audience has a love for the natural world and that birdsong is an enduring British interest, and we hope that these new birdsong-inspired features and performances, as part of Radio 3’s wider exploration of ‘slow radio’ will offer our audiences a real chance to reflect and catch-up.
“It’s a timeout in this busy, fast-paced world, from full length symphonies, operas and dramas through to soundscapes and spoken word that take you to another world.
“And if you have never heard a nightingale before this will bring magic into your life.”
Source : telegraph.co.uk