Destination Directory

The Great Animal Orchestra

Nature's beauty is all around us. What better way to celebrate it than with the sights and delightful sounds of the natural world? At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, groups could do just that by stepping into an immersive audio-visual experience that celebrates our planet's rich biodiversity.

Presented by The Peabody Essex Museum and the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, the North American premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra is dedicated to the work of Bernie Krause and is on view beginning November 20, 2021 through May 22, 2022.

Trained as a musician, Krause found animal vocalizations in the natural world to be akin to musical harmony and orchestral organization. Krause's soundscapes reveal that within any ecosystem, each species has its own acoustic niche and human activities are increasingly silencing these great animal orchestras.

United Visual Artists (UVA) worked with Krause to visualize these recordings as animated spectrograms, which immerse us in the heart of these wild soundscapes. This unique installation makes a plea for preserving the wondrous diversity of the animal world.

The Great Animal Orchestra, a collaboration between Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, was commissioned in 2016 by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, and is now part of its permanent collection. The exhibition is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum and the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain.

The exhibition is presented as part of PEM's Climate + Environment Initiative and is made possible by a generous gift from the Creighton family and the Albert M. Creighton III Fund for Art and Nature. Additional support was provided by Peter and Sandra Lawrence and individuals who support the Exhibition Incubation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. PEM also recognizes the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Check out Krause describing more about The Great Animal Orchestra during its 2016 debut at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris below:

Learn more by visiting PEM.

Courtesy of Groups Today.

Photo courtesy of Photographie Luc Boegly - 2014.

Photo Caption:  Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, The Great Animal Orchestra, 2016, Multimedia installation, 1 h 32 Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (acq. 2017). View of the exhibition The Great Animal Orchestra, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2016 © Bernie Krause © United Visual Artists Photo: © Luc Boegly


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