From the very beginning of time, the Planet Earth was not a silent place. And, as it was increasingly populated by living beings, these quickly learnt that sounds constitute an excellent means of communication.
The use of sounds as vehicles to elevate the human soul and bring it closer to the divinity is a constant in all the cultures of our planet. The chants help achieve another level of consciousness, evoke the other world and seem to bring closer the distant murmur of the souls of the dead.
Sounds which we hear from when we are children and which form part of the collective memories of peoples.
In this village in the north of Laos, the dances are to ask for a good rice harvest and a short dry season. In reality, no one knows exactly why we humans relate music to ritual and ceremonial concepts, but it is without doubt a transcultural phenomenon.
In Rio de Janeiro, the Macumba ceremonies, a mixture of ancestral African rites and Christianity, are an extreme example, in which participants go into a trance, amidst an atmosphere saturated with sounds, without which the act could not take place.
The rhythm gradually takes over the participants until one of them connects with the spirits and is possessed by them.
The fact is, sounds unite the members of a community, be it religious or of birds, and though at first sight there would appear to be not relation, in both cases the acoustic link is an expression of union, of group identity.
For sulphur-crested cockatoos, as with almost all social birds, the constant chattering maintains cohesion among the flock, it means “I am here”, and is vital for them. In these large groups, each individual sends out his “contact call” approximately once a minute, and they are all capable of recognising the voice of each individual.
Birds in general have good hearing, and therefore it is logical that they have also developed their vocal faculties and use them on many different occasions. One of the most frequent is the sexual call.