Philosopher and musician David Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing (Basic Books, 2005), also published in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, China, Korea, and Germany. His feature-length documentary Why Birds Sing was shown on BBC4 in June 2007. Rothenberg is also the author of Sudden Music: Improvisation, Art, Nature (Georgia, 2002), Blue Cliff Record: Zen Echoes (Codhill Press, 2001), Hand’s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature (California, 1993), and Always the Mountains (Georgia, 2003). His most recent book is Thousand Mile Song, about making music with whales. It comes out in May 2008. It is accompanied by a new CD, featuring live music together with whales, called Whale Music. He was the editor of the MIT Press journal Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, and edited the various Terra Nova books based on the journal, including The Book of Music and Nature (Wesleyan, 2001) and Writing the World: On Globalization (MIT, 2005). His articles have appeared in Parabola, Orion, The Nation, Wired, Dwell, Kyoto Journal, The Globe and Mail, Sierra, and The New York Times. Rothenberg’s music connects the living sounds of the natural world to the traditions of global rhythmic innovation and improvisation. Inspired by the melodies and beats of birds, insects, whales, water, and wind, he blends spontaneous musical inventiveness with a sense of rhythm, exuberance, and the listening to nature.
Histories of Violence: Trans-Species Encounters
Adrian Parr speaks with David Rothenberg. A conversation in Brad Evans’s “Histories of Violence” series....