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Making Music With The Whales

Steve Scher
06/06/2008 at 9:00 a.m.

Philosopher and musician, David Rothenberg, spent two years traveling the world making live music — with whales. He did it by playing his clarinet into a microphone with underwater speaker, while simultaneously listening to and recording the song of whales under the ocean. Did the whales respond to his music? When whale songs were first discovered in the 1960s, one of the founding scientists said he'd "heard the size of the ocean that night." Why do whale songs resonate with people?

Plus, Cliff Mass joins us with a weekend weather forecast at 9:50 a.m.

David Rothenberg is a philosopher, musician and the author of several books including Why Birds Sing, which was turned into a TV documentary by the BBC, Sudden Music, Hand's End, and Always the Mountains. His articles have appeared in numerous publications including The Nation and Sierra. Rothenberg is also a composer and jazz clarinetist who has released seven CDs, including On the Cliffs of the Heart. He is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His latest book is Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound.
Cliff Mass is a UW Atmospheric Scientist.

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