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The Great Animal Orchestra

Imagine you are the conductor of an animal orchestra in this interactive and incredibly detailed natural soundscape, compiled by artist and nature recordist Bernie Krause.

What does an ocean sound like? Someone who knows is musician and audio artist Bernie Krause. For more than 40 years, he has been recording the sounds of nature, whether on land or in the water. This website was made as part of an exhibition held in Paris in 2016. It introduces users to five landscapes and their sounds, all of them from Krause’s archive of more than 5,000 hours of recordings. Among them are coastlines that yield a mesmerizing collage of sounds made by fish, waves, coral reefs and the sea mammals.

In his infectiously engaging commentary, Krause describes the animal world as an orchestra with basses, sopranos and percussionists. In fact the sea mammals sound more like scattered soloists than an orchestra, but are no less magical for that. Listening to the sounds of nature, one is bound to ask whether we have simply lifted the idea of the orchestra from the fauna around us. Although the website provides a gorgeous visual accompaniment to the sounds, The Great Animal Orchestra is a primarily auditory experience best experienced with eyes closed.

Project details

Year of development :2016
Created by:Thomas Deyriès
With:Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Upian

Available formats