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Monday, May 2 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
What do whales sing?

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This is a presentation of a project that BEGAN AT LISA a few years ago. I gave a talk on how I needed to find a data visualizer to create a new way of graphically making sense of humpback whale songs. Someone in the audience suggested Michael Deal. Five years later the project is done, a CD is out, along with a new way to make sense of this amazing phenomenon.

In the 1970s millions of copies of the first recording of Songs of the Humpback Whale were sold. It is the best-selling nature recording of all time.

Thing is, whales change their songs over time. And underwater sound recording techniques have tremendously improved since then.

So what do today's humpback songs sound like? David Rothenberg asked the world's leading whale song experts to send him

their best recordings, and he took out the underwater noise to make them sound even better.

Data visualizer Michael Deal invented a new way to transcribe these sounds so that their structure and beauty are more evident.

Whale songs inspired the global movement to save the whales, and people are often moved to tears by their beauty. Hear this beauty

more clearly than ever before, and understand how it works through this new method of visualization which has already had impact in the worlds of music and science alike.

The clearest description of the project can be found here

avatar for David Rothenberg and Michael Deal

David Rothenberg and Michael Deal

Professor of Philosophy and Music, New Jersey Institute of Technology
David Rothenberg, musician and philosopher, records on ECM and teaches at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the author of Why Birds Sing, Thousand Mile Song, Survival of the Beautiful, and his latest, Bug Music. He has sixteen CDs out, the latest being Cicada Dream Band... Read More →

Monday May 2, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Brooklyn Public Library Main Branch
  Community Hub, Talk