Interspecies Communication Inc. administers a research program that gives creative people the opportunity to interact directly with wild animals and habitat through music, art, and ceremony. ICI is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded in 1978 to promote a better understanding of what is, and what can be communicated between human beings and other animals. Their methods focus an integration of art, shamanism, media production nature philosophy, science––all in the cause of upholding our ultimate goal of environmental preservation. IC exists to help people re-establish their emotional, spiritual, and cultural ties with nature. They are best known for conducting musical communication projects with free-swimming whales and dolphins. Here is one example.
Certain species of cetaceans clearly communicate with one another through whistles, songs, and echolocation clicks. At its simplest, a communication with cetaceans through music encourages a call-and-response between species based on a sharing of tones and rhythms in which both parties understand the common drift. It’s a band comprised of two different species.
To communicate with another species means learning to operate on animal time, the difference between all that is static and all that is dynamic, between domination and equanimity, the distinction between dissonance and harmony.
An audience can become just as involved in the experience as the players. People listening to recordings of ICI events, whether with orcas, belugas, pilot whales, humpback whales, wolves, or even with turkeys, get the chance to make up their own minds if the common ground exists. If the “groove” is happening, you simply hear it.
This work is sometimes described as avant-garde art. In reality, there’s nothing much avant-garde about it. Traditional tribes have been creating art and conducting ceremony with animals since before history. Consider our work an update for troubled times.