Published by Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris. Text by Gilles Boeuf, Bernie Krause. Interview with Bernie Krause by Michel André. Interview with Matthew Clark by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Since the 1970s, California-based bioacoustician and musician Bernie Krause (born 1938) has recorded more than 5,000 hours of natural habitats, including at least 15,000 terrestrial and marine species from all around the world. At once poetic and scientific, this sound archive reveals the musical harmony and orchestral organization of animal vocalizations. It also reveals that the great animal orchestra, increasingly threatened by human activities, now risks being reduced to total and utter silence, as today 50% of the biodiversity recorded by Krause have disappeared forever. This book presents The Great Animal Orchestra, a work created by Krause and United Visual Artists in 2016 for the exhibition spaces of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris. It tells the story of the elaboration of this unprecedented immersive installation, from the recordings of the sounds of nature realized by Krause to their visual translation into a three-dimensional video installation by United Visual Artists. Combining aesthetics and technology, The Great Animal Orchestra simultaneously offers a sound and visual meditation on the necessity of preserving the beauty of the natural world. Alongside contributions by Krause, Matthew Clark, Gilles Boeuf, Michel André and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the book includes the QR codes of seven recordings made by Krause in seven territories chosen for their ecological diversity and the richness of their biophony, from Canada to the Central African Republic, from the United States to Zimbabwe, from Brazil to the oceans.