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  • The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony is the result of two fruitful years of collaboration between English composer Richard Blackford and American bioacoustic recordist Bernie Krause. The symphony explores the traditional sounds of the orchestra alongside the voices of the natural world. From within the orchestra can be heard Gibbons, Humpback Whales, Pacific Tree Frogs, Mountain Gorillas, Beavers and the Central American Musician Wren. 

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  • In April 2012 composer Richard Blackford heard extracts from Bernie Krause’s book The Great Animal Orchestra read on BBC Radio 4 Book Of The Week. By inventing the term ‘biophony’, or the collective voices generated by all the organisms in a given natural habitat and time, Krause invites the listener to become aware of the intricate layers of sound created by the animal world within natural habitats which he likens to the layers and textures of an orchestra. Richard was instantly struck by the musical potential and was inspired by Krause's wild soundscapes to write The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony.

    The world premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony was given by Martyn Brabbins and BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Cheltenham Festival in July 2014. 

    Images:Dawn Fidrick | Kat Krause © 2014 Wild Sanctuary


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Programmes available

The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony (30') - Conducted by Martyn Brabbins or Richard Blackford, or a local conductor by agreement.

Programmes could also include Richard Blackford's re-orchestration of Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals (23')

Bespoke workshops, pre/post-concert talks by Richard Blackford and/or Bernie Krause are also available. 

Intermusica are currently exploring commissioning a film or animation to accompany the symphony and are seeking partners for this project.

"There has never been anything quite like this symphony...This beautiful, exciting, engaging work"

Gramophone, July 2014

"The sounds of the creatures - from a pack of wolves howling to insects to the musician wren - were arresting, galvanising us into listening anew to living soundscapes from around the world"

The Guardian, July 2014

Susie Mcleod
+44 20 7608 9920

Kate Caro
Senior Manager, Film & Multimedia in Performance
+44 20 7608 9932

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon