David Rothenberg performed at the 2014 vs. Interpretation Festival on 19 July, 2014, at NoD.
David Rothenberg has long been interested in the musicality of sounds made by inhabitants of the animal world. He has jammed live with lyrebirds, broadcast his clarinet underwater for humpback whales, and covered himself in thirteen-year cicadas to wail away inside a wash of white noise.
Rothenberg presents a musical trajectory through several of his favorite species, revealing their distinct and evolved aesthetic senses in an attempt to show that music can reach across species lines, from human to animal and back. Creatures whose musical worlds we enter include the thrush nightingale, humpback whale, three-humped treehopper, snowy tree cricket, seventeen-year cicada, white-crested laughing thrush, superb lyrebird, European marsh warbler, lesser water boatman and the mountain pine bark beetle.
Rothenberg has performed and recorded on clarinet with Jan Bang, Scanner, Glen Velez, Karl Berger, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, and the Karnataka College of Percussion. He has released a dozen CDs and numerous books, including the recent book and CD compilation Bug Music
, which was featured on PBS News Hour
and in the New Yorker
. He also edited vs. Interpretation
, a compendium of essays inspired by the Agosto Foundation’s 2014 vs. Interpretation Festival. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.