bird song beatbox

Download press KITbeatbox_files/

What is the first melodious natural sound anyone can think of?

Most people think of bird songs as the natural melody around us. Birds provide music and melody in any natural environment, connecting us to nature.

The #SkyislandBeatbox project is a collaborative project born on twitter. It involves musician Ben Mirin from New York, photographer Prasenjeet Yadav from Bangalore, and me to take bird songs to a larger audience. Ben uses beatbox to create music with bird song and Prasen plans to make a video that will include images of the rare birds around us to convey the wonder and the beauty of these birds to us, who can see these birds in our backyards. 

See a write-up in The Guardian on Ben’s music on New York birds (video in the right panel) or see the one with vulture calls audio on the right panel.

In the Western Ghat mountains (right next to where we live), there are many birds that are found only here and no where else in this world. Some of these special birds live only on the tops of mountains - areas called sky islands. While most people appreciate birds for their unparalleled singing ability, they are often unaware of the unique bird species in their landscape that are threatened with extinction. We propose to make original music using a combination of bird song and ‘beatbox’ as a means of creating awareness in these audiences about birds and engaging them in bird conservation. The music will be mixed with high-quality photographs and films of these birds to produce a video identifying the bird species responsible for each sound in the composition.

This September Ben will conduct workshops in Bangalore, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Kochi and Trivandrum where people (open to public) can join in on making music with bird songs, hence learning about music and birds. These workshops will include birdwatching trips.


beatboxing with sky island birds         #skyislandbeatbox

  1. Prasen is a wildlife photographer, filmmaker and a National Geographic Explorer who is currently producing a science story on Sky Islands for National Geographic and NCBS. His portfolio includes video/photo stories on lateritic plateaus and Sikkim, while also having worked with several national and international photo and video teams including the BBC.  He will produce a video that will be uploaded on YouTube with information on different birds that are included in the music composition created by Ben. His website (some parts under construction) highlights some of his work

  1. Ben is a music producer, an internationally recognized beatboxer and a birder. He composes music from bird song and his own voice in order to synthesize his passions into a single idea. His music compositions have been featured on National Geographic, National Public Radio and The Guardian. His compositions have been used for the conservation of several species. He will produce a song - a musical theme, that will include songs of different birds mixed together. His blog features some of his work

beatboxing with birds oF NYC

beatboxing with vultures

Ben mirin

Prasenjeet yadav


EVENT Collaborator

Kerala Forest Department


Workshop/Presentation Ideation and Design :

Curated by:

Aparna Banerjee,

Science & Society programme


Sudebi Thakurata

INTACH - Kodaikanal



  1. I study ecology and evolution of birds (& their song) on sky islands. About 15 years of research on this system has led to a treasure of information on some of these special, rare and endemic birds (found no where else). This website sums up my research in this landscape. This project hopes to get people interested in these birds and this landscape through a more fun, exploratory medium rather than the usual sombre conservation stories.

V. V. Robin

In case you got to this page from an external link

SCHEDULE of events


8 Sept: Talk & introduction at SCCS Bangalore, 5pm, JN Tata Auditorium, IISC

9 Sept: Bird watching - Assemble at 0630 at Prakruti cafe (Coffee board), IISc .

10 Sept: Bird song beatboxing workshop (7-9 pm) Aashirwad, St Marks Road.

11 Sept: Public performance (includes songs by workshop participants), Rangoli Metro Art Centre 7.45pm


12 September: Workshop at Bee Museum, Ooty

13 September: Bird watching with participants, 7am

14 September: Munnar  - Public performance and workshop, 3pm, Forest Department Office, Munnar

15 September: Kodaikanal - Public performance and workshop. 4.30 pm. Check back for venue

16 September: Bird watching with participants, 7am


17 September: Kochi performance - St. Theresa college, 11am

18 September: Trivandrum - Forest Department Headquarters, Vazhutacaud, 11am


19 September: NCBS public performance (4-5 pm)

Indian scimitar babbler beatboxing

press coverageBeatbox_press.html

larger team:

Birds: C.K. Vishnudas

Audio: Sridhar Reddy

Tech: Allwyn, Pankaj, Gautham

Other support: Uma Ramakrishnan

Sky island events poster

(click to download)

Bangalore events poster

(click to download)

We will back in 2017!