May 25, 2005
The Humpback ReMixWhale

Joi Ito brings out a memory....

Masters of Remix - The Humpback Whale:
I sat next to Dr. Roger Payne at lunch. He talked to me about the songs of the Humpback Wales that he has been recording for decades. He is the authority of this field. He explained to me that Humpback Whales sang beautiful songs. They copy from each other, remixing the songs and add to the songs. These songs evolve over time and riffs get passed from whale to whale across the world. The songs have lots of interesting variations and even have rhymes. He made an interesting observation that the whale songs of the 60's were much more beautiful than the whale songs these days.

I suggested that he made some of these songs available online via Creative Commons and he agreed that this would be a cool idea and agreed to work on this.

When I was a child, my father took me to see Roger Payne give a seminar at Indiana University - this is what faculty kids grew up with, which may explain a lot... I remember being transfixed by the songs, finding them curiously lovely and complex - baffling. For all I know this explains my periodic divings into 'difficult music for difficult people.'

What I can't remember at the moment is if this before or after the time I got bleeped on the Cowboy Bob Show for Greenpeace....

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Posted by esinclai at May 25, 2005 11:00 PM |