Spectrograms of baleen whale vocalisations
a spectrogram is a visual representation of sound – it’s a computer program which shows you how loud each pitch in a sound is over time. it’s at the same time mechanical, algorithmic, inorganic, and perceptive, intuitive, beautiful.
it’s a bit like how popular it is listening to whalesong relaxation videos online – their songs repitched and relayered, and the multitude of clicks, chirps, blows and tail kicks that aquatic mammals produce omitted to suit our conceptions of beauty.
remember that god’s chorus of crickets track that makes the rounds every few years? it falsely claims to use otherwise unprocessed slowed down cricket sounds, when in reality there’s a choir and heavy processing happening, in order to promote a religious branding.
we alter the world around us for ourselves, and most of the time it’s by our curiosity and observation that actually makes these changes happen, like how a blue whale can look like a sunset, or a minke whale like a wheat field, and how seismic airguns, tunnelling for oil offshore, silences them both
Read & Listen: Seismic Airguns at Ocean Conservation Research