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      Past Exhibition

      The Great Animal Orchestra: Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists

      On view November 20, 2021 to July 10, 2022

      Today's hours:

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      The Peabody Essex Museum and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain are proud to present the North American premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra.

      Step into an immersive audio-visual experience that celebrates our planet’s rich biodiversity. Over the course of nearly fifty years, Bernie Krause collected more than 5,000 hours of recordings of natural environments, including at least 15,000 terrestrial and marine species from around the world.

      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.

      In conjunction with the exhibition, PEM will present daily screenings of a newly released documentary produced by the Fondation Cartier and directed by French filmmaker Vincent Tricon in Morse Auditorium. Bernie Krause, A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra (37 minutes) illuminates Krause’s pioneering work as a musician and soundscape ecologist.

      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.

      Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain | Peabody Essex Museum


      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 Jr. 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. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

      Media Partners


      Share your impressions with us on social media using #TheGreatAnimalOrchestra and #PEMClimate.

      TOP IMAGE: Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, The Great Animal Orchestra. Installation view at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2016. Photo © Luc Boegly.

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      Trained as a musician, Krause found animal vocalizations in the natural world to be akin to musical harmony and orchestral organization."

      Artist Interview

      Bernie Krause speaks about The Great Animal Orchestra during its 2016 debut at the Fondation Cartier pour l‘art contemporain, Paris.

      Artist Interview

      Matthew Clark (United Visual Artists) and Bernie Krause speak about The Great Animal Orchestra during its 2016 debut at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris.

      Artist Conversation

      Bernie Krause and Matthew Clark on The Great Animal Orchestra.

      Climate + Environment Talk

      Brazilian field ecologist Marcia Macedo and Bernie Krause talk about the challenges facing the Amazon rainforest.

      The Great Animal Orchestra book cover

      Featured publication

      The book Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, The Great Animal Orchestra tells the story of the creation of this unique installation, which joined the Collection of the Fondation Cartier in 2016. Descriptions of the seven soundscapes of Krause’s installation allow us to discover the animals included in them and the context of their realization.

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