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WHALES IN MOTION: Exploring Tag-Derived Whale Locomotion and Behavioral Sequence Data with the Blind and Visually-Impaired through Music and 3-D Sculpture Multi-modal Models

Sound Explorations' Artist, Emilie Grossman has created a series of 3-d sculpture models that illustrate the locomotion and foraging behavior of Humpback and North Atlantic Right whales based on actual whale tag data obtained by NOAA researchers in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and research from the 2018 paper, Foraging rates of ram‐filtering North Atlantic right whales authored by Julie Marie van der Hoop, Anna E. Nousek-McGregor, Douglas P. Nowacek, Susan E. Parks, Peter Tyack and Peter Teglberg Madsen.

Our visually-impaired participants run their hand across these sculpture models to perceive the whale foraging behaviors while a musician performs action-specific melodies that match the same contour and shape of the model. The musician watches closely to keep the musical contours at the same pace as the participant’s hand. Added textures and shapes on the sculpture model illustrate fluke motion, side-roll orientation, swimming direction and lob tail activity.

Our participants also have an opportunity to create their own sculpture models using our Animal Motion Path Makers, and then have musicians perform their whale motion paths as melodic lines.

Humpback whale Double Loop Bubble Net

Feeding Behavior


Humpback whale Bottom Side-Roll

Feeding Behavior

North Atlantic Right Whale Skim Feeding with

V and U-shaped Foraging Dives

Listening Examples

00:00 / 01:35

North Atlantic Right Whale Foraging Behaviors

Musical Composition

composed by David MacKenzie

Mother and Calf Feeding Behaviors - 4_22_24, 8.13 AM
00:00 / 07:20

Mother Humpback Whale and Calf Foraging Behaviors Musical Composition

composed by David MacKenzie

Thank you to our supporters!

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Logo
South Coast Community Foundation Logo
Woods Arts & Literacy Foundation-2_edite
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