Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vox Balaenae

http://youtu.be/9imchw0u6Bc Vox Balaenae - The Voice of the Whale - was written by George Crumb, an American composer. It was premiered by the New York Camerata in 1971. In 1967, it was discovered by biologist Roger Payne that humpback whales actually sing and he published recordings of the vocalizations of whales. It was deemed complex. This helped to trigger the movement to save whales from poachers. I wonder if whales do not have the right to exist without their singing value. This world is mad and greedy. George Crumb was inspired after hearing those whale recordings of Payne but this work does not use those tapes. Crumb has tried to get that effect reproduced in musical form. He has composed this for three masked players who handle electrically amplified piano, flute and cello to generate sounds that bring to mind the images of the sea and the singing of the whales.

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