Connected \\ March 11, 2022

Hearing the call of the wild with Jane Goodall, Bernie Krause and Ruth Mendelson

Legendary conservationist Jane Goodall is sharing her hope for our collective future in an upcoming presentation with soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and composer and educator Ruth Mendelson. This free virtual conversation will be held Monday, March 21, and is presented by PEM as part of its Climate + Environment Initiative and with the Fondation Cartier in celebration of The Great Animal Orchestra, a collaboration between Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, on view through May 22, 2022.

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Dr. Jane Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking studies of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. This is where the world-renowned ethologist and activist first met Bernie Krause, the soundscape ecologist who has traveled the world recording the sounds of remote landscapes and rare animal species. Goodall has said of Krause’s work: "The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist. I have watched him recording the calls of chimpanzees, the singing of the insects and birds and seen his deep love for the harmonies of nature.”

Bernie Krause sets up to record in the field. Photo by MASHA KARPOUKHINA

Bernie Krause sets up to record in the field. Photo by Masha Karpoukhina.

Guests in the gallery of The Great Animal Orchestra: Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists. Photography by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

Ruth Mendelson, a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, has worked with Dr. Goodall, whom she calls a friend and “an incredible light on this planet,” to create an audiobook of her famous children’s biography, My Life With the Chimpanzees. Mendelson’s musical score captured the soul of Where the Questions Live, a popular interactive exhibition by Wes Bruce that created a healing space to explore the natural world in PEM’s Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center.

From The Swamp/Sunrise: A New Day

Composer Ruth Mendelson explores the hidden spaces of Where the Questions Live. Photo by Jane Winchell/PEM.

Composer Ruth Mendelson explores the hidden spaces of Where the Questions Live. Photo by Jane Winchell/PEM.

The virtual conversation will be about hope, healing and courage, some of the themes of Goodall’s recent publication The Book of Hope. “Each one of these individuals is rooted in possibility and hope,” said Jane Winchell, PEM’s Sarah Fraser Robbins Director of The Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center, who will moderate the panel. “We need to be able to hold what’s possible in a place of hope and at the same time acknowledge that we don’t know what’s going to happen. We all need to be in a state of wakefulness on this. There are immediate fires always out there, but this is the big fire. We can’t lose sight of the opportunity in this moment to have so much impact.”

Jane Goodall

The Jane Goodall Institute / Bill Wallauer.

Along with initiating the opening of several exhibitions at PEM addressing the climate crisis, Winchell is getting one of her greatest wishes — to have the iconic Dr. Goodall speak to a PEM audience. “I hope the insights of these remarkable people can propel others forward and inspire them to be brave, and to also see that we can be a healing influence on the planet and with each other and in ourselves.”

Please enjoy the video of this powerful and inspiring conversation.

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