Music Project Combines Whale Sounds & Human Sounds

Cats playing the piano have nothing on the musical talents of humpback whales.

While whales don’t have vocal cords as humans do, they create beautiful songs by pushing air through their giant nasal cavities. These impressive cetaceans can be heard “singing” for up to 24 hours

Harold Linde wanted to find a way to merge these beautiful sounds with human music. With the help of some ambient composers from around the world, his team created POD TUNE, a project filled with dreamy, haunting and mesmerizing music pieces that combine whale sounds and human sounds.

“I wanted to explore how environmental activism could be re-imagined through art and narratives,” said Linde. “Instead of thinking about saving species and ecosystems ‘out there’ somewhere, I wondered what it would be like to invite them to be part of our everyday human lives in the city.”

The project not only allows humans and whales to create something together, but net proceeds from digital album and compact disc sales go toward Ocean Alliance and Blue Mind. These two organizations work to conserve the oceans and the whales that call them home.

Linde has worked as an environmental activist for years. He spent time creating story-based media like the animated “Forest Family Forever!” for the Rainforest Action Network. Additionally, he worked as an action climber and technical climbing trainer for RAN, Greenpeace, Forest Ethics, and the Ruckus Society.

Linde wanted to expand on his environmental activism creativity, while being able to reach a wide audience.

“The goal was to have the musical soundscape be accessible and complimentary with a variety of everyday human activities—working, eating a meal, reading a book, walking, drinking tea, doing yoga,” he said. “And not sound specifically like an ‘environmental’ or ‘new age’ track, though [it can appeal] to fans of those genres as well.”

With the aim of creating accessible and diverse sounds, the project’s producers handpicked musicians to contribute to the album’s 14 tracks. It was then their job to create a soundscape inspired by the whale songs. The musicians chosen for the album come from all over the world, including the United States, Canada, England, Denmark, Belgium, Latvia, China, Taiwan and Japan. The whale songs that accompany these musicians were provided by David Rothenberg, Kent Noonan, the Macaulay Library and Paul Knapp.

“The musicians we worked with were generous and enthusiastic with their contributions … and every track sounds utterly distinct,” Linde said. “When I listen to POD TUNE—which I do often, despite having heard it innumerable times—I feel as if this benevolent advanced species from some far-away environs is making contact with me.”

The project came together after three years of planning, arranging, recording and promoting. On June 15, the team released 50 vinyl pressings of POD TUNE Volume: Ambient in addition to the digital download and compact disc options previously available.

“The ultimate experience of POD TUNE, we hoped, would be of these two highly-evolved and intelligent species—whales and humans—creating a compelling and awe-inspiring album together,” Linde said.

Photo Credit: PODTUNE

60 comments

Sue H
Sue H7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Robert N.
Rob Chloe Sam N2 years ago

Good article, Thanks for sharing.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn3 years ago

Many thanks to you !

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Amy Cajamarca
Amy C3 years ago

THanks

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Amy Cajamarca
Amy C3 years ago

Cool

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Pablo B.
.3 years ago

An Argentine musician, Javier Calamaro, another musician brother, Andres, many years ago in Peninsula Valdez, Argentina (at least since 2008 and marking the first time in the world that this kind of experience was made); a very interesting experiment that everybody is transmitted through the internet. It is immersed in a capsule and he sings and plays music with whales. "Concert for whales". I copy a link ... to make you feel interested ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgOnGBs9uZg

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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