Bird Calls Author's note
"Bird Calls" began with the acknowledgement that both poetry and music have helped me to deal with the death of my sister and the resulting problems in my family. I have always envied large, happy, noisy, extended families, and crows symbolize this for me.
I think I inherited my mother's love of music and my father's fascination with electronics. He died before the computer age; however, I think he would have been amazed to see the advances in communication and opportunities for creativity that computers have brought.
I knew I wanted to include sound and visuals with "Bird Calls" but didn't know how to go about it. I was mesmerized by the various "skins" in Real Player and other audio programs. Using the blunt instrument of Netscape Composer, I was able to launch a piece of music into my poem, using the beautiful watery visuals in Real Player. However, of course, any viewer would first have to load Real Player and choose the "skin" that I had in mind. It was just too cumbersome. And then there were all those pop-up ads!
I was about to give up when someone told me about Flash. I took a three-day course in Flash, and felt much like I was sitting at the control panel of an airliner, when all I wanted to do was to fly across a field. Through a long summer of trial and error, locking myself away for a week with my laptop and several instruction manuals, I finally got the result which you can now view.
It's not perfect; often the image I had in my mind was changed through the serendipity of Flash, which was fine, and part of the process. Nevertheless, it still often seems that the vision in my mind outstrips what I am actually able to do. I remember feeling that frustration as a child when I tried to build a real airplane with tinker toys.
But I guess it's just that discrepancy that keeps us going. I hope you enjoy "Bird Calls."