Katy Payne’s Spectogram reading of humpback whale songs from Bermuda in 1974 + 1975.
A collaboration with celebrated acoustic biologist Katy Payne that explores the songs and soundings of two of the largest broadcasting mammals
2.22.2014 eight pm at the music gallery in toronto, ontario . part of the new world series.
buy tickets . fb .
featuring Katy Payne, Daniela Gesundheit, Alex Samaras, Anne Bourne, Felicity Williams, Robin Dann, Ryan Brouwer, Leslie Feist, Alanna Stuart, Doug Tielli, Ivy Mairi, Isla Craig, Thom Gill, Dan Goldman, Steven Foster, and Alex Lukashevsky
5.9.2014 at the berkeley art museum in berkeley, california .
More info TBA.
I’m very excited to let you know about an upcoming project that has been in the works for a few years now. Set in motion by simultaneous invitations from two Davids (David Dacks, Artistic Director at the Music Gallery in Toronto and David Wilson – Bay Area artist, former Snowblink member, and curator of The Possible, currently on exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum), Returning Current is a look into the vocalizations of some of the largest living mammals (humpback whales and African elephants) to see what we might discover about group identity, distance, competition, innovation, and empathy.
Returning Current is the result of a few years of correspondence and collaboration with celebrated Bioacoustics researcher Katy Payne. Originally trained in both music and biology at Cornell University in the late 1950’s, Katy’s professional work and contributions have all stemmed from original discoveries at the intersection of these fields. Her most notable findings include the changing songs of Humpback Whales (an example of non-human cultural evolution) and infrasonic long-distance communication among African elephants.
Moved by her remarkable capacity for listening, her myriad accomplishments and discoveries, and feeling a long-time connection to both of the animals that she had devoted her life to studying and protecting, I apprenticed myself to her to see what we might find together. After weekends spent by her wood stove in Ithaca, NY, we arrived at the idea for an interactive performance that weaves her stirring lecture and storytelling about her findings with the voices of a choir of singers trained in the principles of whale “composition” and long distance elephant communication.
For the Toronto edition, the project expanded to include Alex Samaras and Anne Bourne, and then the voices of fifteen notable Toronto singers. The Returning Current choir features
Felicity Williams, Robin Dann, Ryan Brouwer, Leslie Feist, Alanna Stuart, Doug Tielli, Ivy Mairi, Isla Craig, Thom Gill, Dan Goldman, Steven Foster, and Alex Lukashevsky
The material emerged over the course of a few weeks in a spirit of experimentation and collaboration. We are eager to share what we have found with you.
I will send more information about the Berkeley Art Museum performance a little later down the line – if you are on the west coast, consider this a Save the Date, and in the meantime, get your hands/eyes/ears on The Possible and all of its attendant events and happenings over the next few months. We will see you in the main gallery in no time.
Looking forward to charting this new territory with you all.
Daniela + Snowblink