52 Blue for amplified instrument and electronics (2023)
52 Blue is said to be the loneliest whale in the world. First detected by sensors across the Pacific Ocean in 1989, they sing at an unusual frequency of 52 hertz, far above that of a typical blue whale’s singing at 10-40 hertz. These recorded tones usually last for 5-7 seconds, in groups of 2-6. The migratory patterns suggest that 52 Blue may in fact be a blue whale, but more likely to be a hybrid between two different species. Their unique song travels thousands of miles in the ocean. While other whales can detect this frequency, none has ever connected. Whales are deeply social animals, but 52 Blue continues to sing a cappella, alone and unanswered.
The music is about loneliness. The story of 52 Blue is used as a metaphor or symbol of being alone but in a positive way. Throughout the piece, the performer freely explores and interacts with oceanic soundscapes accompanied by rich synthesized materials; eventually, they experience a process of self-discovery.
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