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Ocean Voices
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Academy marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols collaborated with sound artist Halsey Burgund to bring us ‘Ocean Voices,’ an innovative project aimed at expanding awareness about this vital resource.

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Celebrating Our Oceans

In honor of World Oceans Day and the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birthday, Academy scientist J. Nichols and sound artist Halsey Burgund collaborated on a live performance of ‘Ocean Voices.’ The Ocean Voices project aims to open minds and expand awareness about the world’s oceans by recording narratives from around the world and weaving them into a collective musical work.

 
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A Collection of Voices

The voices were collected via in person interviews, an interactive website (oceanvoices.org), and cell phone tours at the California Academy of Sciences. As the voices were collected, they were consolidated in an online database, which participants can access on a Google map as well as in the form of algorithmically generated audio collages. These collages presented a user-selected group of voices in a non-linear, semi-randomized fashion that not only gave each participant a unique audio experience, but also helped them hear the thoughts of many other individuals in a musical setting.

 
Wallace Nichols

Wallace J. Nichols

Wallace “J.” Nichols spends his time discovering nature. He spent his youth exploring oceans and forests, as well as his own family history. Through field research, his work with commercial fishermen, and the time he spends in coastal villages, he encounters among people a common appreciation for the ocean’s beauty, abundance and mysteries.

Currently, J. works with several universities and organizations to advance ocean protection, including as a Research Associate for the California Academy of Sciences, Research Scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, Conservation Science Advisor for ProPeninsula, on a global bycatch study with Duke University and Blue Ocean Institute, and he has served as an advisor or board member of Turtle Island Restoration Network, Biosphere Foundation, Animal Alliance, Coastwalk, Drylands Institute, Oceana, and Reef Protection International.

 
Halsey Burgund

Halsey Burgund

Halsey Burgund currently works as a musician and sound artist living on the outskirts of Boston. Both his installations and musical performances make extensive use of spoken human voice recordings as musical elements, alongside traditional and electronic instruments. He collects these voices from otherwise uninvolved individuals whom he records in various locations, from museums to street corners to rock clubs.

 
Céline Cousteau

Céline Cousteau

Whether she’s diving, speaking to audiences around the world, leading an expedtion to the peaks of the Andes, swimming amid a school of sharks in the South Pacific or with a medical team in the Peruvian Amazon, Céline Cousteau seeks to inspire and educate through adventure and exploration. Daughter of ocean explorer and filmmaker Jean-Micel Cousteau and granddaughter of legendary Jacques Cousteau, she is featured in PBS’ most successful new television series, Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. Passionate about intercultural relations, Cousteau received her masters in International Training. Not just an adventurer and explorer, Céline is an incredible storyteller, connecting unique and diverse cultures, showcasing the importance of learning from one another and helping preserve the distinctive beauty and knowledge of each and every group of people.

 
Fabien Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau

Growing up on the salt-stained decks of his famous Grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to follow in the family footsteps of exploring and tirelessly working to protect our planet’s immense and endangered marine habitats. From his vast experience in the field, coupled with a degree in environmental economics from Boston University, he has refined a public policy platform grounded by his strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies. Recently he co-launched Natural Entertainment, which is working on numerous projects related to exploration and environmental awareness through television and other media.

 
turtle

Celebrating Our Oceans

In honor of World Oceans Day and the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birthday, Academy scientist J. Nichols and sound artist Halsey Burgund collaborated on a live performance of ‘Ocean Voices.’ The Ocean Voices project aims to open minds and expand awareness about the world’s oceans by recording narratives from around the world and weaving them into a collective musical work.

 
whale

A Collection of Voices

The voices were collected via in person interviews, an interactive website (oceanvoices.org), and cell phone tours at the California Academy of Sciences. As the voices were collected, they were consolidated in an online database, which participants can access on a Google map as well as in the form of algorithmically generated audio collages. These collages presented a user-selected group of voices in a non-linear, semi-randomized fashion that not only gave each participant a unique audio experience, but also helped them hear the thoughts of many other individuals in a musical setting.

 

Listen to Ocean Voices

   

Listen to a recording of the live performance of Ocean Voices.

Clip 1: 7 minutes [10MB]

Clip 2: 7 minutes [10MB]

Clip 3: 6 minutes [9MB]

Clip 4: 9 minutes [13MB]

Listen to the entire performance:


Total Time 30 minutes [42MB]

SchoolMessenger Sponsors
Ocean Voices Debut

   

SchoolMessenger

SchoolMessenger is a proud sponsor of the Academy’s NightLife World Oceans Day celebration and Ocean Voices project debut on June 3, 2010. SchoolMessenger is an innovator in fostering school-parent connections and honors educators who inspire the exploration, study and protection of our natural world.

Photography

   

All photography by Neil Ever Osborne.

www.neileverosborne.com