Melos Amoris

Songs of mice and whales

Despite all differences, mice and whales share one feature:
their singing. While the whales’ chants are quite familiar, the
mice’s courtship songs long time remained hidden, since they
take place in the ultrasonic range, inaudible to human ears.
The sound recordings of Melos Amoris document the attempt
to translate a humpback whale song into the hearing range of
a mouse. The whale song recording* was shifted into higher
frequencies and played back to the mouse over a defined period.
The playback and all occurring responses were recorded in the
ultrasonic range. Shifted back into the range of human hearing,
the calling sounds of the mouse become audible, interacting with
the song of the whale and the sounds of the sea.
*Songs of the humpback whales, recorded by Roger Payne, 1970.
The ultrasonic translation and recordings were possible thanks to
the kind support of Avisoft Bioacoustics, Berlin.

** song excerpts

Exhibition views: Loge, Berlin, 2013, photos: Andreas Märker

Melos Amoris
, CD booklet, 2010
Research materials and 11 song excerpts

The frequency-shifted whale song is originally part of the recordings made in 1970 by Roger Payne.
The work was realized with the materials and generous support of Avisoft Bioacoustics.