Musicians are exploring communicating with whales. I’m guessing they think that the art of music might be right in the ball park for creatures who use sound to navigate their lives. If you’re in the Northwest, you too can participate in a local musical outreach, the Orca Sing, below.
In this video of a woman playing the violin to a humpback, you can hear the excitement in people’s voices as the whale comes closer. Watch past the first minute to where a curious baby is attracted in a good way.
I’ve written quite a bit about how human sounds affect our ocean’s whales in a not good way. In my last post I wrote how boat traffic and military sounds threaten the new Orca babies in the Northwest Resident pods.
A new movie, the Sonic Sea, does a great job of explaining how such sounds are happening worldwide and how they disrupt and decimate whale populations. Ideas for redesigning our ways, from non-cavitating propellers to rerouting shipping lanes are urged, all currently doable.
We do need more imagination both in how we reduce our impact on whales and in how to communicate. This imagined encounter from an Australian TV commercial reminds us of how awesome it feels for all those who have had personal contact with a whale.
Okay, it is a commercial, but it touched my heart anyway.
Now for the local approach that some of you might join. The Orca Sing has happened every summer solstice in Friday Harbor, WA since 2000. It’s on the shore of Lime Kiln park, right on the edge of a common Orca seaway. Seattle's City Cantabile Choir, led by Fred West will send out the music message at 6 p.m. on June 25th. Underwater hydrophones will be used to track any responses from any Orcas who choose to come by.
If anyone has ideas on how to send out a Save the Date to the Orca pods, just give it a try. For other ideas on tuning to the ocean this summer, check out the Whale Trail, for whale watching from land on the West Coast.