David Rothenberg, "Whale Music: Thousand Mile Songs in a Sea of Sound" (Terra Nova Press, 2023)


Whale song is an astonishing world of sound whose existence no one suspected before the 1960s. Its discovery has forced us to confront the possibility of alien intelligence--not in outer space but right here on earth. Thoughtful, richly detailed, and deeply entertaining, Whale Music: Thousand Mile Songs in a Sea of Sound (Terra Nova Press, 2023) uses the enigma of whale sounds to open up whales' underwater world of sonic mystery. In observing and talking with leading researchers from around the globe as they attempt to decipher undersea music, Rothenberg tells the story of scientists and musicians confronting an unknown as vast as the ocean itself. His search culminates in a grand attempt to make interspecies music by playing his clarinet with whales in their native habitats, from Russia to Canada to Hawaii.

This is a revised edition of Thousand Mile Song, originally published in 2008. The latest advances in cetacean science and interspecies communication have been incorporated into this new edition, along with added photographs and color whale scores.

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Frances Sacks

Frances Sacks is a graduate of Wesleyan University where she studied in the Science and Society Program.

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