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Songs of the Humpback Whale
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Produced by Dr. Roger Payne, these rare recordings are from a 'Bel Canto' era of whale singing. Even though Humpbacks change their songs every year, none from recent years has been so beautiful as these they sang in the 1960's.
"When I think of what grand arias, cantatas, and recitatives have filled the sea, echoing through its vast vaults, only to diappear and be lost forever, I am keenly grateful for those included here, made by sound-pioneer Frank Watlington, who captured what I consider to be the greatest of all humpback whale performances, 'Solo Whale'. It was recorded at a depth of 1500 feet using an extraordinary array of deep-water microphones that were part of a cold-water experiment by the US Navy, costing tens of millions of dollars, and now claimed by the sea. That project will never be repeated. And such songs may never be heard again."
-Dr. Roger Payne
"Hearing this album was a milestone experience in my musical life. I was thrilled by the haunting beauty of these humpback whale voices, much as I had been when I first heard jazz saxophonists like Charlie Parker. Studying the long, complex songs which the whales repeat again and again, I was amazed by their musical intelligence, and shocked to learn that these magnificent beings were rapidly being hunted to extinction. The whales opened my ears to the whole symphony of nature, and expanded my world forever. "