Shane Monds

Night Song

Artist Statement

Night Song is a short film with electronic soundtrack and live cellist. The work is drawn from a series of late night audio and video recordings of the boat-tailed grackle—a bird whose unique call is familiar to anyone who spends time in late autumn and winter in southeast Texas. The video is created from about twenty different long shots filmed at night. Each shot was recolored—similar to an artificial technicolor. The shots were then overlayed with four to ten different images creating a composite that is fairly abstract. The images fade in and out of one another gradually so that the film is in constant flux, while also seeming as though it is a continuous evolving long shot. Although the work explores darkness and flocks of seemingly menacing birds, I hope that this work displays the peculiar peace that can be found in the dark, hazy, cacophonous night.

***Please note: This work is originally for 5.1 surround audio and a live cellist. This version has been reduced to stereo with a recording of a previous performance. For the best viewing experience watch full screen, with headphones or speakers with good dynamic range (bass!) and in a dark room. Watching in a well lit room will likely cause most of the image to seem overly dark. Also, watch after sunset please!

Shane Monds is a composer who works in many mediums, seeing each project as a new place for sonic exploration. He has composed music for traditional mediums such as choir and orchestra, film, micro-tonal piano, art installations, Cajun fiddle, traditional Chinese instruments, and much more. His music has been heard at a variety of venues ranging from St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to the documentary film channel to the City Hall in Nafplio, Greece. He has received commissions from the Indianapolis Symphonic Chorus, The Louisiana Sinfonietta, HGOco (Houston Grand Opera Company), and the Vechhione/Erdahl Duo (through the American Composer’s Forum). His newest work “No. 11 (re)” is to premiere at the Rothko chapel and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in January 2016. He is currently the Robert Yekovich Teaching Fellow at Rice University where he is pursuing a doctorate in composition. More information, scores, recordings, news, and contact info is available at You can also find him on Soundcloud.