Monday, February 4, 2013

Animals and Music

Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony. The text of A Sea Symphony comes from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. An excerpt:

O vast Rondure, swimming in space,
Cover'd all over with visible power and beauty,
Alternate light and day and the teeming spiritual darkness,
Unspeakable high processions of sun and moon and countless stars above,
Below, the manifold grass and waters, animals, mountains, trees,
With inscrutable purpose, some hidden prophetic intention,
Now first it seems my thought begins to span thee.


On a completely different note, just in case you were wondering when someone was going to raise the bar for heavy metal music by having a parrot as the lead singer, here's a bit of a (joke?) Wikipedia entry about Hatebeak:

Hatebeak is a death metal band, formed by Blake Harrison, Mark Sloan, and Waldo, a 21-year-old Congo African Grey Parrot. Hatebeak is the only band to have an "avian" vocalist. The band members do not use their last names on their releases "for the mystery". Hatebeak also does not tour so as to not torture the bird. Hatebeak is strictly a studio project with unintelligible lyrics and no melody. They are currently signed to Reptilian Records. Their sound has been described as "a jackhammer being ground in a compactor."

Beak of Putrefaction (2004)
Bird Seeds of Vengeance (2005)
The Thing That Should Not Beak (2007)

"Bird Seeds of Vengeance"? Someone was having fun with this :-)


Links about Animals and Music:

*A PopSci article wondering Can Snakes Really Be Charmed By Music? (Answer: no)
* What Music Do Pets Prefer? from
* Do Animals Have an Innate Sense of Music? from National
* Switch Zoo Field Trip - Explore Animal Music
* Whale Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell
* Cornell's Elephant Listening Project
* Sierra Club Magazine's 7 Amazing Animal Musicians
* The Thai Elephant Orchestra
* Laurel Braitman's Music for Animals project
* An Opposite of Indifference post about birdsongs


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Wonderful to read Whitman to Vaughn Williams. Now they are forever linked to me.

Linda at teacherdance said...

The Whitman/Williams is lovely. I've been reading and listening! And, having lived next door to a neighbor with an African grey who almost never was quiet, I can't imagine what that 'other' music is like, & am not sure I want to know. Too funny, Tabatha!