New Book: ‘Animal Music – Sound and Song in the Natural World’

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Animal Music: Sound and Song in the Natural World‘ is a wonderful book I recently got. It’s edited by Tobias Fisher and Lara C Cory and features interviews with truly expert and passionate people on this field.

Can animals talk? What meaning does their song convey? Will we ever be able to understand them?

The idea of complex animal sentience has been gaining strength within the scientific community. A growing number of researchers and academics are exploring the idea that animals enjoy music on a similar level to human beings.

Animal Music: sound and song in the natural world is the result of a collaboration between music journalist Tobias Fischer, founder of 15Questions.net and Lara C Cory, freelance writer and editor of the 15 Questions website. Published by London’s Strange Attractor Press, it is the first anthology on the subject, tackling the debate of animal sentience from a musical perspective.

Tobias wanted to create a series of musical explorations to supplement the 15Q interview series. The idea came, Tobias says, “after taking two cats in from a shelter. I took an interest in their sounds and how they communicated with me and each other and was surprised to find there was very little useful available information on the subject.” This lack of information sparked his desire to investigate the topic in more depth. Animal Music is the first of the 15Q explorations, illuminating the world of animal music and the people who record and reflect on their song.

The authors spoke to leading scientists, researchers and musicians in the field to uncover hidden meanings and new perspectives. From the biggest library for animal sounds in the world, to the mysterious sound world of shrimps and the secret language of the prairie dog, Animal Music is an important contribution to the debate, lending weight to the argument that animals possess emotional profundity and the ability to enjoy music.

Animal Music: sound comes with a CD curated by the world’s leading label for field recordings, Gruenrekorder, with contributions that extend beyond the content of the book, featuring a range of animal sounds and song captured by the likes of Francisco López, Jez Riley French and an exclusive piece by field recording legend Walter Tilgner.

Available at Strange Attractor