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Winging it: listen to an experimental song created by bats

Winging it: listen to an experimental song created by bats

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During SXSW last month, Bacardi teamed up with UK-based creative agency Mr. President to produce a promotional video that shows how music might be made with help from the natural world. Austin, TX, Southby's host city, just happens to be the home of the largest urban colony of bats in the world. So with that in mind, Bacardi used a combination of motion-tracking software and the Ableton Live production suite to make wild bats make music in real time.

These so-called "Bat Beats" were recorded at the foot of Austin's famous Congress Avenue Bridge, just as the bridge's roughly 100,000 Mexican free-tailed bats took flight for the evening. As the Bacardi-sponsored team filmed, their specially-designed app fed the location data of each bat on the wing into Ableton to trigger specific sounds and effects for the underlying track. While the bats themselves didn't compose the song (which would be a much grander feat), they helped determine what beats can be heard when, when the rhythm picks up, and the music's overall tone.

The full track can be heard below. Even though we shouldn't expect the bats themselves to make future studio appearances, the resulting music is a fun experiment nonetheless.