Ocean Song workshop at Cambridge Museum of Technology

Ocean song logo copy

On Sunday 21st June, our enthusiastic outreach team and volunteers delivered another interactive Ocean Song workshop at the Cambridge Museum of Technology, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council. We were fully booked but still able to accommodate families who dropped in on the day.

Our setting this time around was really different! We were surrounded by industrial machines and there were lots of different water pumps around which the families had a go with during their time at the workshop. The weather was pretty fantastic too!

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Rowena Whitehead is a local community choir leader who we have collaborated with for the project. She is such a creative mind and makes an energetic contribution. After warming up the audience with our physical ‘Whale Haul Away’ chant, she took us in a new direction so that the group could contribute a new layer of sound to the final piece.

We whispered.

Rowena asked participants to contribute some words regarding what a whale does. For example, ‘swimming’, ‘eating’, ‘brooding’, ‘spouting’, etc. Then, we all came together in a choir to whisper words and phrases related to our Finback Whale (@whale_whispers). Participants learned the scientific Latin name for the Finback Whale, Balaenoptera Physalus, and also how it is commonly referred to as The Greyhound of the Sea.

We had also woven this short piece which resonated with the ocean vibes: ‘Through the ocean, through the deep. Through the currents, through the foam’.

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The feedback from participants always show that one highlight of the workshop is listening to Chris Watson’s natural sound recordings of ocean animals in the water. Chris is an award winning sound recorder (Attenborough’s Life series) and artist and he will be creating the sound installation in the Museum’s brand new Whale Hall. He uses a hydrophone to record these sounds that the human ear would find extremely difficult to pick up. This is the unique offer that we provide through this project as well as the fun of joining in melodious sea harmony!

See you at our next Ocean Song Workshop at St.Ives on Sunday 19th July!

Sana Khan

SOCL3 Trainee

Catch up on the progress of the Ocean Song Project on our blog and be the first to know about future workshops here: https://oceansongproject.wordpress.com/.

We are also fundraising to clean, conserve and re-display our iconic Fin whale and other large skeletons from our collections. To make a donation to #raisethewhale visit:    http://www.campaign.cam.ac.uk/giving/zoology.

Follow the Finback Whale on Twitter @whale_whispers.