Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Photo: Pia Riverola
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Finds Calm During COVID-19 With New EP Featuring Birds
Today, May 27, left-field dance/electronic artist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, has shared something totally new, a four-track ambient EP featuring prominent field recordings of birds. I Can Hear The Birds is a project birthed from the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus crisis, a soothing balm to calm the nerves and feel connected once again to nature, locales and people far away.
Not only is the 15-minute EP incredibly calming and expansive to experience as a listener, the act of creating it, and making something completely different from his electrifying dance records and remixes, was healing and energy-shifting for him.
As the British singer/pianist/producer/DJ, born Orlando Higginbottom, tells us over email, "I was in a general state of heightened anxiety and the idea of the music was calmness, so it gave me time to be actively calm. Also, I felt very uncomfortable working on dance and pop tracks at the time, almost dishonest. It was therapeutic to react to world events in real time, with music that was appropriate."
The seedlings for the project came not long after safer-at-home orders hit much of the world, when a friend sent Higginbottom a recording of the seemingly louder birds keeping her awake. As a fan of classical music and an artist with an affinity towards sampling field recordings to add unique texture to his electronic beats, he made a song, which would become the EP's "Islas Canarias," as a therapeutic exercise and, at the time, to simply to share with her.
"On March 22, a friend sent me a recording of the birds that were keeping her awake in the Canary Islands. It was early in this story and anxiety was high, so I took the recording and made some music to it as a present to send back, a hug, and an exercise to take my mind off the obvious. The next day I spoke to a friend in South London who like many of us was commenting on the volume of the birdsong in his garden, so I asked for a recording of that too, and he woke at dawn the next day and sent me blackbirds, house sparrows, and a great tit. I sent him music a day or two later. Working on my existing musical projects was proving difficult and so this pattern of receiving bird recordings from friends and sending them back songs emerged as a welcome practice," he explains in a press release.
"On April 15, my friend Jon Wright of Sports Banger, aware of my project, showed me a drawing a kid had done on the letter Boris Johnson had sent out to every U.K. household. On it were colorful birds and 'bum face boris bollocks;' also the words 'I can hear the birds again.' So I took that as a sign that I should finish this music, and release it as an EP called I Can Hear The Birds."
We also asked what the biggest thing he has learned about himself and his creative process during quarantine, and his answer is rather inspiring.
"It has been a good reminder that imagination is the most important thing to me, all other aspects of music can take a step back. Connection through sound alone is still possible and valuable, but you have to throw a few industry mechanisms out the window."