A different kind of birdsong: Photo of birds on electrical wires inspires music

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When Jarbas Agnelli of Brazil saw photographer Paulo Pinto’s shot of birds sitting on electrical wires in a newspaper, he was struck by the image and the resemblance of the wires to a musical staff. He ‘cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes,’ he writes, noting that no Photoshop was used on the image.

He credits the birds as the ‘composers’ of the resulting song, ‘Birds on the Wires.’ And the story gets more interesting -- after finishing its orchestration, Agnelli sent the completed work to Pinto, whose contact information he found online using a plain old Google search.

From there, Agnelli says, Pinto told an editor about the song, who passed along the information to a reporter, who wound up writing about the birds’ music in the same newspaper in which their photo had originally appeared. From there, it caught the attention of the fine folks at, after which it was picked up as far as Washington, D.C., and now, Los Angeles. That’s a long way from São Paulo!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: Jarbas Agnelli via Vimeo