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The first collaborative works Scotland's Sarahjane Swan and Roger Simian created together, from 2009 to 2011, were musical.

The duo quickly composed and recorded around two albums' worth of Indie-Rock / Experimental Pop songs, most with accompanying low budget DIY promo videos. The MP3 blog creator Paul Kerr (The Devil Has The Best Tuna) suggested early on that Swan and Simian use the name The Bird And The Monkey for these musical outpourings.

Since those early years songs by The Bird And The Monkey have aired regularly on BBC 6Music (Tom Robinson), Amazing Radio (Jim Gellatly), Acacia Radio (Ian Hales), TD1 Radio (Donald Strachan) and 92.2 Sheppey FM (Phil Crowder). One track, Moon Moth, was used in the soundtrack of the BBC2 / digital drama, The Cut, in 2011.  That same year The Bird And The Monkey's video work was included in the BBC Music Video Festival, featuring screenings on Edinburgh's Big Screen in Festival Square.

From 2012 Swan and Simian began branching out into the realms of interdisciplinary art (film, installation art, literature and publishing ), taking on the name Avant Kinema for this branch of their creative practice.

Throughout their years of experimenting across multiple disciplines Swan and Simian have continued making music. As well as composing soundtracks for their Avant Kinema films, installations, expanded cinema performances and exhibitions, Swan and Simian still write, record and release alternative songs as The Bird And The Monkey.

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