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Feb 21, 2023

"Life is far more interesting than it needs to be, because the forces that guide it are not merely practical." --David Rothenberg

David Rothenberg: The Joy & Mystery of Interspecies Music Making

David Rothenberg is a writer, philosopher, ecologist, and musician, speaking out for nature in all aspects of his diverse work. He investigates the musicality of animals and the role of nature in philosophy, with a particular interest in understanding other species by making music with them. His book 'Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song,' was inspired by an impromptu duet in March 2000 with a laughingthrush.His next book, 'Thousand Mile Song', reflects similar curiosity about whale sounds considered as music, from which both scientific and artistic insights emerge. A reviewer in The London Telegraph said of the book, "while Rothenberg's madcap mission to play jazz to the whales seems as crazy as Captain Ahab's demented hunt for the great White Whale, it is sometimes such obsessions that reveal inner truths..." In the following excerpt, Rothenberg describes the nightingale colonies of Berlin, and the unique experience of improvising with a feathered collaborator.

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