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The Roots of Music

Exploring Earth's Soundscapes

Friday, November 6th

Part 1: Bird songs
This short clip gives you a sense of the birdsong interpretation that George Halekas offered.

Part 2: Marine Soundscapes: Whales

Part 3: Marine Soundscapes: Spinner Dolphins

Please click on the pictures to advance the slides.

OHA's indoor Highland Wonders series resumed with a unique presentation by George Halekas, entitled, "The Roots of Music: Exploring Earth's Soundscapes," on Friday, November 6th. 

In a compelling presentation that weaves together music and ecology, biologist George Halekas surveyed the unique beauty of nature’s soundscape, and explored why Earth is considered a ‘sonic jewel’ and ‘singing planet.’ The vibrant musical heritage of humanity is a wonderful component of this rich soundscape diversity, and the conversation began by looking at the emergence of music in ancient hunter gatherer societies from an ecological perspective. The focus then shifted to exploring Earth’s soundscapes from the large planetary scale, to investigating representative habitats like the rainforest and ocean, as well as listening to the fascinating details of individual bird and whale song. 

Humpback whales by Brandon Cole

Humpback whales in their synchronized feeding rhythm along the Alaskan coastline. 
(Photo used with permission from Brandon Cole)

This event was sponsored by Humanities WA.  Sponsored by Humanities WA

George Halekas, a former Wildlife Biologist with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest,  is captivated by the power and expressiveness of music and its ability to capture human emotions.  A lifelong conservationist, he is drawn to understanding the relationship between living organisms with their surrounding environment, especially through sound.  Since retiring as a biologist, he has served on a multi-year task force that advised the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in developing a balanced Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Playing a role in helping wolves return to Washington’s natural heritage and soundscape has special resonance for George. He records nature’s sounds and enjoys collaborating with visual artists, music composers, and biologists through his recordings. George currently lives near Deer Park.
George Halekas