Music with Whales

Many cassettes and CDs have been made using the magic of the recording studio to dub the haunting sounds of whales into classical,newage, and folk compositions. IC is probably the only group in the world which regularly records music with free swimming whales and dolphins in real time out on the ocean.

To attain our objective of direct co-creative contact with cetaceans, we use a portable underwater sound system which effectively turns any boat with a twelve volt system into a marine recording studio. Our intent is straightforward yet ambitious: to seek out the whales where they live and invite them to join an interspecies band.

Right now, we are actively seeking an ocean going boat and logistical sponsorship to attempt communication with sperm whales. Potential locations include The Azores, Sri Lanka, The Galapagos, or Shikoku Japan. If you have access to such a vessel and are interested, write us at:

There is a method to our madness

  • We don't chase the whales––we anchor a boat and play from a still platform. If the whales are interested in what we offer, they'll swim to us.

  • We never transmit sound louder than the volume of a 25 horsepower outboard.

  • Because our goal is direct communication between species, we never play recorded music to the whales, or rely on electronic effects that reflect the whale's own calls back at them. Although a whale can certainly answer the mood and tones of a recording, a recording can not answer a whale.

Orcas Greatest Hits

IC is best known for a twelve year project focused on making music with the wild orcas who inhabit the waters off western Canada. We invited musicians of every persuasion as well as many children to try to communicate directly to the very vocal and animated orcas. For three summers, we invited Tibetan Lamas to transmit their Buddhist prayers directly to the whales.

For a description of this and other IC programs, check out our projects page. To read about this and other IC whale and dolphin projects in much greater detail, you can purchase from IC Jim Nollman's new book, The Charged Border––Where whales and humans meet.

We also sell an audio cassette, entitled Orcas Greatest Hits. If your browser has the ability to play sounds, you can hear a 30 second excerpt from Orcas Greatest Hits which highlights an underwater exchange between two orcas and an electric guitarist. Data is in .wav-format. You can order Orcas Greatest Hits directly from IC by sending an $11 check ($13 if you live outside the USA) to:

Interspecies Communication Inc
273 Hidden Meadow
Friday Harbor WA 98250