Image by Steve Parker


Steve Parker

GRACKLE CALL is a performative audiovisual tour that directs audiences to the roosting locations of the Great-tailed Grackle. Mimicking a birding experience, participants will be provided with binoculars, mp3 players, and a printed program guide that will direct them to experimental performances, installations, radio stories, and soundscapes examining local grackle lore, appropriation, human impact on species behavior, migration, land use, and the many failed human attempts to control the species. Featuring a roster of local birders, journalists, poets, musicians, artists, and performers.

This project is augmented by a series of free community workshops that explore birding, listening, and writing & a free iOS app that responds to the user’s GPS coordinates to play original audio content directing them to locations throughout Austin.

From Fusebox The Grackle is perhaps the most controversial and beloved bird of Austin. By morning, they greedily eye our breakfast tacos; they hold court on telephone wires at midday, and they flock to the trees of the local H-E-B at sunset to commence their cacophony. Grackles are an idiosyncratic part of daily life in the city. The Grackle species, whose history dates back to the Aztec empire, is a kind of clock, telling the rhythms of our city, but also evoking a rich past that predates Austin. This strange and beautiful bird is the subject of Steve Parker’s new project Grackle Call, an immersive sound walk and ode to the bird. Audience members will be guided on a walking adventure, where they’ll discover the natural life of the city through dance, installation, poetry, and sound, and find themselves on Grackle time.


  • We ask that you bring your own headphones and smartphone to access the audio tracks for the piece. If you do not have access to a smartphone, a limited number of MP3 players will be available to borrow.
  • We will have binoculars available to borrow for most audience members, but you are welcome to bring your own binoculars, which will help us provide binoculars to more attendees.

Creative Team

Steve Parker Yuliya Lanina Austin Soundwaves Martin Rodriguez Allison Orr Mose Buchele Alex Keller Heloise Gold Verena Gaudy James Brush Martin Byhower Luke Quinton Vladimir Rannev Cecily Parks

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