Ocean Sounds CD

The best recordings  of my 5 years of research are now available on a CD from Gruenrekorder. You can order it directly from their webpage: www.gruenrekorder.de
This CD contains more than 50 minutes of sounds of Killer whales, pilot whales, dolphins, seals, mackerell and basin sharks.

As seen on the website: www.gruenrekorder.de

Marine mammals and fisch of Lofoten and Vesterålen recorded by oceansounds / Norway | Heike Vester

Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesterålen

Recorded by oceansounds / Norway | Heike Vester

Gruen 066 | Audio CD | 54:48 min | Digipack > [order] / Special Offers

MP3 & WAV > [order]


 

01: “Carousel feeding Killer whales”
Location: Tysfjord (2005) | Length: 7:38

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) feed on herring using a method called carousel feeding: The whales herd the herring tightly together and chase it close to the surface, where they hit it with their tails to kill or stun it. Then they eat the herring one by one. You hear many clicks, which the whales use for echolocation to find the herring. Buzzes, calls and whistles are used for communication, and in addition you hear tail slaps that kill the herring.

01: “Schwertwale bei der Karusselljagd”
Ort: Tysfjord (2005) | Dauer: 7:38

Schwertwale (Orcinus orca) in Norwegen fressen Heringe, indem sie eine spezielle Jagdtechnik anwenden: die Karusseljagd. Die Wale drängen den Heringsschwarm dicht zusammen wie zu einem Ball und jagen ihn unter die Wasseroberfläche: Dort schlagen sie kräftig mit ihrem Schwanz in die dicht gedrängten Heringe, um diese zu töten oder zu betäuben. Dann fressen sie die Fische einzeln, einen nach dem anderen. Sie hören Klicks, die die Schwertwale zur Echoortung benutzen, um die Heringe zu finden, Knattergeräusche, gepulste Laute und Pfeifftöne die für die Kommunikation zwischen den Walen genutzt werden sowie Schwanzschläge mit denen die Heringe getötet werden.


 

02: “Calling Pilot whales”

Location: Vestfjord, outside Skrova (2006) | Length: 8:33

A group of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) came close to our boat and you can hear one male calling, and in the distance another whale answering. The male was the first that came 10m close to our boat and he just lay there looking at us, calling. Then the rest of the group also came close to investigate us. Pilot whales are deep divers and feed mostly on squid. Not much is known about their vocal behaviour, but they are often very curious and you can find them travelling in large groups.

02: “Rufende Grindwale”
Ort: Vestfjord, vor Skrova (2006) | Dauer: 8:33

Eine Gruppe Langflossen-Grindwale (Globicephala melas) kam dicht an unser Boot heran und ein Männchen ruft, während ein anderer Wal antwortet. Das Männchen kam als erstes bis auf 10m an unser Boot heran und lag dort, rief und nicht lange danach kam ein Weibchen und der Rest der Gruppe, die uns genau inspizierten. Grindwale können sehr tief tauchen und fressen hauptsächlich Tintenfisch. Über ihr Verhalten ist nicht viel bekannt, sie sind oft neugierig und kommen an Boote heran und sie wandern oft in grossen Gruppen.


 

03: “Atlantic white-striped dolphin group”
Location: Vestfjord, just outside Henningsvaer (2008) | Length: 6:48

A group of 30-40 Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorynchus acutus) appeared just in front of our boat. These dolphins were very curious, swimming behind and under our boat. Audible are many echolocation clicks, as well as some buzzes and whistles.

03: “Eine Gruppe von Atlantischen Weisseitendelfinen”
Ort: Vestfjord direkt vor Henningsvaer (2008) | Dauer: 6:48

Eine Gruppe von 30 – 40 Atlantischen Weisseitendelfinen (Lagenorynchus acutus) kam plötzlich an unser Boot heran geschwommen. Diese Delfine waren sehr neugierig und schwammen hinter und unter unserem Boot. Sie  jagten kleine Fische und sprangen oft akrobatisch aus dem Wasser. Es sind Echoortungsklicks zu hören, ein paar Knattergeräusche und Pfeiftöne.


 

04: “Post-feeding calls of Killer whales”
Location: Tysfjord (2005) | Length: 0:31

These calls were recorded from killer whales after they feasted on herring. Their calls are used for communication with each other.

04: “Schwertwal-Laute nach dem Fressen”
Ort: Tysfjord (2005) | Dauer: 0:31

Diese Laute wurden nach einem grossen Heringfressen der Schwertwale aufgenommen. Es sind mehrere Kommunikationslaute zu hören.


 

05: “Echolocating male sperm whale”
Location: Vesteralen outside Andenes (2006) | Length: 3:25

Male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) migrate from the south to the north to find food. They use echolocation to find squid or fish in depths up to 2000m. You hear clicks from a male sperm whale recorded outside Andenes.

05: “Echoortung eines Pottwalmännchens”
Ort: Vesteralen vor Andenes (2006) | Dauer: 3:25

Männliche Pottwale (Physeter macrocephalus) wandern vom Süden in die nordischen Gewässer um Nahrung zu suchen. Pottwale können sehr tief tauchen und finden ihre Nahrung in bis zu 2000 m Tiefe. Sie orientieren sich und finden Ihre Nahrung mit Hilfe eines Echoortungssystems. Hauptnahrung ist Tintenfisch, aber auch Fische. Ein einzelnes Männchen ist klickend auf der Suche nach Nahrung im Tiefsee-Canyon vor Andoya auf den Vesteralen. Pottwale kommunizieren nur mit Klicks.


 

06: “Harbour seal pup calling for its mother”
Location: Vesteralen outside Stø (2006) | Length: 1:20

Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) live close to the coast in colonies of up to several hundred animals. They have their young in June. Outside Stø on Vesteralen there is a colony of harbour seals, where we recorded a pup calling for its mother.

06: “Seehundjunges ruft nach seiner Mutter”
Ort: Vesteralen vor Stø (2006) | Dauer: 1:20

Seehunde (Phoca vitulina) leben oft in großen Kolonien in Küstennähe. Außerhalb von Stø auf den Vesteralen lebt eine Kolonie von mehr als 100 Tieren und wir haben dort ein Seehundbaby aufgenommen, das unter Wasser nach seiner Mutter ruft. Die jungen Seehunde werden hier im Juni geboren.


 

07: “Basking shark and Mackerels feeding on plankton”
Location: Vestfjord, just outside Henningsvaer (2007) | Length: 1:08

One basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) and a group of mackerel (Scomber scombrus) were feeding on plankton in summer 2007 just under the bridge of Henningsvaer. Basking sharks are filter feeders and come to the northern waters in summer to feed on plankton. You can hear feeding sounds and some chirps, which probably come from the mackerel. It is not known whether basking sharks or mackerel communicate with sounds.

07: “Riesenhai und Makrelen fressen Plankton”
Ort: Vestfjord, direkt vor Henningsvaer (2007) | Dauer: 1:08

Ein Riesenhai (Cetorhinus maximus) und eine Gruppe Makrelen (Scomber scombrus) fraßen im Sommer 2007 Plankton direkt unter der Henningsvaerbrücke. Riesenhaie sind Filtrierer, die sich ihre Nahrung aus dem Wasser filtern. Sie kommen in den Sommermonaten in den Norden, um das reichlich vorhandene Plankton zu fressen. Es sind Fresslaute (Bewegungen der Kiemen) und einige ”chirps” (wahrscheinlich von den Makrelen) zu hören. Es ist nicht bekannt ob Riesenhaie oder Makrelen mit Lauten kommunizieren.


 

08: “Acrobatic Atlantic white-striped dolphins”
Location: Vestfjord, south of Henningsvaer (2008) | Length: 3:46

On a summer evening we met 4 Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorynchus acutus) in the middle of the Vestfjord. First they investigated us and then they started an amazing acrobatic show, jumping out of the water for more than 30 minutes, producing clicks, buzzes and some “croaks”.

08: “Akrobatische Atlantische Weisseitendelfine”
Ort: Vestfjord, südlich von Henningsvaer (2008) | Dauer: 3:46

An einem Sommerabend trafen wir mitten auf dem Vestfjord vier Atlantische Weisseitendelfine (Lagenorynchus acutus), eine Mutter mit ihrem Jungen und zwei erwachsene Tiere. Zuerst schwammen sie direkt auf uns zu und dann fingen sie mit einer Akrobatikshow an. Sie sprangen 30 Minuten lang immer wieder aus dem Wasser. Sie produzierten viele Klicks und Knattergeräusche. Danach ruhten sie sich neben unserem Boot aus und waren ganz still.


 

09: “Pilot whales resting in Vestfjord”
Location: Vestfjord, outside Skrova (2008) | Length: 9:37

Pilot whales appear year-round in the Vestfjord . We do not know where they come from, and we always see different animals. This recording was from a resting and slow-travelling group that came close to the boat several times, producing a variety of different calls, buzzes and clicks.

09: “Ruhende Grindwale im Vestfjord”
Ort: Vestfjord, vor Skrova (2008) | Dauer: 9:37

Grindwale kann man das ganze Jahr über im Vestfjord antreffen. Wir wissen nicht wo sie herkommen oder wohin sie ziehen, und wir sehen immer andere Tiere mit verschiedenen Lauten. Diese Aufnahmen stammt von einer kleinen Gruppe (acht Tiere), die sich langsam im Vestfjord fortbewegten und ruhten. Sie kamen mehrere Male nahe an unser Boot heran und man kann verschieden Laute, Pfeiftöne, Klicks und Knattergeräusche hören.


 

10: “Seine feeding killer whales”
Location: Vestfjord, close to Lødingen (2005) | Length: 6:17

One winter day in 2005 a herring net broke from a seiner. It took less than 30 minutes for more than 60 killer whales to arrive, turning into a feeding frenzy.  The sounds are killer whales calling, whistling and echolocating. In the background you can hear the engine of the fishing boat with the broken net. Killer whales have long learned that they get “free” food from herring fishing boats, often lingering around these boats.

10: “Schwertwale fressen von  einem Heringfischerboot“
Ort: Vestfjord, in der Nähe von Lødingen (2005) | Dauer: 6:17

An einem Wintertag im Jahr 2005 ist das Netzt eines Heringsfischerbootes gerissen und in weniger als 30 Minuten waren mehr als 60 Schwertwale vor Ort, um sich an diesen gedeckten Tisch zu setzen. Man kann die Schwertwale rufen hören, sie pfeiffen und klicken zur Echoortung. Im Hintergrund ist der Motor des Fischerbootes zu hören, das das gerissene Netz im Schlepptau hatte. Schwertwale wissen schon lange, dass es bei den Fischern ohne aufwendige Jagd Fisch gibt und deshalb sieht man sie oft in der Nähe von Heringsfischerbooten.


 

11: “Carousel feeding killer whales”
Location: Tysfjord (2005) | Length: 5:45

When killer whales feed on herring, they use different calls for communication. Sound underwater is louder and travels much faster than in air. When we produce noise with motorized boats, we pollute the whales’ environment and make it difficult for them to communicate. This may interrupt their feeding and social behaviour. We must continue to be vigilant, always consider our reasons for approaching whales, and most important of all: HOW.
You hear a big whale-watching boat idling, then starting and stopping the engine. Later, you hear a small whale-watching rubberboat starting its engine.

11: “Schwertwale bei der Karusseljagd mit Bootslärm”
Ort: Tysfjord (2005) | Dauer: 5:45

Wenn Schwertwale Hering jagen, benutzen sie viele verschiedene Laute zur Kommunikation. Schall ist unter Wasser viel lauter und breitet sich viel schneller aus als in Luft. Das hat zur Folge, dass wir die Umwelt der Wale mit Unterwasserlärm von Booten „verschmutzen“, was die Kommunikation der Tiere stört. Das kann ihren Fressvorgang und auch ihr Sozialverhalten negativ beeinflussen. Wenn wir uns diesen Tieren nähern, sollte uns das bewusst sein und wir sollten uns fragen, warum, aber noch viel wichtiger WIE man sich den Walen nähert.
Bei dieser Aufnahme ist ein großes Walsafari-Schiff zu hören, das zuerst den Motor in neutral hat und danach losfährt, später wieder anhält. Danach ist ein kleines Walsafari-Schlauchboot zu hören, das den Gang einlegt und losfährt.


 

11 Tracks (54′48″)

All sounds were recorded by Heike Vester / Ocean Sounds www.ocean-sounds.com
Recorded with Reson TC4032 Hydrophone, 20 m cable and custom built ETEC amplifier on either Edirol or Korg MR1000 recorder.

Mastering by Mark Lorenz Kysela, www.kyselas.de

Supported (in part) by WWF Norway/Sweden, www.wwf.no / www.wwf.se

Field Recording Series  www.gruenrekorder.de
Gruenrekorder / Germany / 2009 / Gruen 066 / LC 09488

GEMA / EAN 4260185962012 / (c) by  Heike Vester / (p) by Gruenrekorder


 

Reviews

Will Montgomery | The Wire / Issue: #311

German label Gruenrekorder has put out some of the strongest of recent times, putting its name behind relatively low-profile recordists as well as bigger names. Heike Vester’s Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesterålen is a set of straight nature recordings, documenting various whale species, along with basking sharks, seal pups and more. But this is no New Age whale song trip. Much as electroacoustic Improv can help you hear air conditioning units differently, these strange squeaks and clicks often sound machinic, pushing the listener into a vibrant soundworld reminiscent of David Tudor’s Rainforest IV. Other sounds have the off-world oddness of VLF recordings of distant electrical storms. […]

Ed Pinsent | The Sound Projector

Ocean Sounds is Heike Vester, whose Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesteralen (GRUENREKORDER GRUEN 066) is a beautiful collection of recent field recordings of whales, dolphins, sharks and seals in their marine habitat. Vester is a marine biologist and she’s also committed to preserving life on this planet “by trying to minimize human destruction”. The CD, partly supported with money from the World Wildlife Fund, comes with a full-colour booklet packed with photos and contextual information about the mammals and their behaviour. An extremely moving and wonderful record which is great to listen to. One thing that’s interesting is that unlike Chris Watson, another noted genius in this field, Vester is not especially interested in showing us the drama and danger of nature, and instead what comes across is a deep serenity and peace that we human beings could do well to emulate.
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Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY

Behind Oceansounds we find biologist Heike I. Vester, who is specialized in ‘bio-acoustics of marine animals’, following various studies in that direction. In the winter months 2003-2008 she studied Killer Whales in the northern Norway, and currently vocal behavior of killer whales. This is what is captured on this CD: the plain sounds of killer whales during post feeding, ‘echolocating male sperm whale’, the ‘harbour seal pup calling for its mother’, ‘basking shark and mackerels feeding on plankton’, ‘pilot whales resting in Vestfjord’ and such like. Its of course for an untrained, non-bio acoustic ear such as I have, but lots of these sound quite similar. I have not passed the test to be a biologist I guess. The high chirping sounds (which we may remember from John C. Lilly’s CD for Silent Records, here without any other instrument of course) is one that we are quite familiar with. It makes a nice musical sub aquatic trip this CD. It seems that pieces flow into eachother and tell us a story, but perhaps I am just doing my own interpretation. Very nice work, best enjoyed as ‘one piece’. (FdW)

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normanrecords

Diving in the deep end is CD called Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesteralen. Which is exactly what you get on the disc itself so technically the artists are the fish and marine mammals themselves, although a lady called Heike Vester was on recording duties. I’d like to think they get some of the royalties (maybe Flipper could get an extra fish one day?) This is a serious CD featuring various different types of whales, dolphins, seals and err…. Mackerel all recorded in varying states around the coast of Norway for your evening maritime enjoyment. This is very much for fans of Chris Watson and if you’re into wildlife sounds then this has your name embroidered on it. There’s no music on this record…. Unless you call the sounds/songs of these animals music which you may or may not do. It’s really interesting though and some of the sounds dug up by mother nature herself are way more interesting than what a lot of folks can come up with with their computers and latest plugins. It looks like some of the royalties go to the WWF (not the wrestling dudes) so it’s all for a jolly good cause. Comes in a nice digipack with a booklet inside explaining everything in the correct amout of detail. Nice!
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Innerversitysound | Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Nature attunement in acoustic fields is not new and there are many varied takes on the subject field. Often a good deal of window dressing accompanies the arena to appeal to the listener, presenting the ‘drama’ of nature, where often it is merely the imposition of narrative upon the subject that is the area of study. However this is quite another matter.

It was recorded by Heike Vester, a biologist, whose field is bioacoustics of marine animals. She has studied Killer whales in Northern Norway and is in the process of completing a doctorate on the vocal behavior of killer whales. She is also the founder of Oceansounds, a private research, education and conservation group focused on marine environments.

This recording has very crisp digital sound and has a detached matter of fact presentation. It concentrates mainly on Killer Whales but there are tracks documenting Pilot Whales, Dolphins and seals. It is not a new age extension of nature romantic tendency that mires itself in kitsch. No doubt the attunement of such interests have lead a lot of people to this field but Vester’s focus would be in regards to ‘evolutionary cognitive anthropology’ as a scientific pursuit. Listening to the field recordings of marine environments outside the purely scientific interest is a different act, yet there is a listening history unconstrained by scientific endeavor. As a field recording exercise its technical prowess is apparent and may very well appeal to all musical types who need sound archival works when the need to insert killer whale noises into the mix.

Heike Vester states that her “main interest is to preserve life on this planet by trying to minimize human destruction…” and this is a work co-produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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Tobias Fischer | tokafi

Subaquatic explorations: Even the most accomplished and proficient Sound Artists will be amazed.

In terms of building suspense, Herman Melville might have been able to learn a thing or two from Heike Vester’s blog. Giving up her native Germany and moving to an uncertain future in Norway was the easiest part. Since then, however, marine-biologist Vester founded her own organisation („Ocean Sounds“) dedicated to the the rescue of the earth’s marine environement right in the heartland of one of the few countries left to still allow commercial whaling. Fearlessly, she confronts hunters, moving her boat in between harpunes and mink whales to try and prevent unnecessary killings. With a tear in her eye, she notices the absence of Orcas in the Vestfjord only to embark on a new project and head for Chile instead. And when her warnings are ignored and a colony of cormorants is scared away by curious spectators and „uncontrolled tourism“, her writings are filled with sadness and cropped-up anger. You wouldn’t think this woman could ever have a boring day in her whole life.

All the more so, since her acoustic explorations are equally intriguing. Because the world of the whales only seldomly reveals itself to us on the surface, its sound characteristics, too, are particularly fascinating and represent a terra incognito awaiting further investigation. Vester has taken on the challenge of diving down and making it heard. Wherever she goes, a digital recorder is close by her side. Wherever she points her gaze, a microphone is following her movements. And when exciting scenes are taking place right in front of her bow, she documents them with the excited curiosity of a child and the unfaltering hand of a scientist: Killer Whales embarking on their „carousel hunts“ to catch Hering or feasting on fish from a broken net, for example. Dolphines challenging the acrobatics of circus artists before calmly floating through the water to rest. A „harbour seal pup calling for its mother“ or Orcas voicing their satisfaction after a long and extensive dinner. There is a liveliness and natural dramaturgy to these moments which requires no Disney-like embelishments to lend them an air of organic suspense.

From a phonographer’s perspective, recording marine mammals is both a particularly challenging and especially rewarding job. Their timbres and techniques are unique and recognisable on the one hand and appear to share a lot of common characteristics on the other. „Buzzes, calls and whistles“ are their shared communication tools and only subtle nuances between species reveal their true identity. From the joyous clicks of Pilot Whales swimming in the immediate proximity of Vester’s ship to the quiet gurgles of Mackerels feeding on Plankton under the bridge of Henningsvaer, from the microtonal hiss and crackle of a male Sperm Whale using echolocation to the softly creaking gabble of white-striped Dolphins, this cosmos of quiet, crystaline and concentrated sounds is a minimal music lover’s heaven. Even the most accomplished and proficient Sound Artists, meanwhile, could benefit from observing the richness and diversity of these seemingly starkly reduced signals and the maximum of expressivity drawn from a tiny set of source materials. It is hard to imagine how Vester has managed to come close enough to these shy animals, but she certainly has and it is this intimacy which lends these up to nine minute long studies their narrative plasticity.

Not all is just harmony here, though. In the hands of the right artists, phonography can be an extremely effective political tool and just like Budhaditya Chattopadhyay’s „Landscape in Metamorphoses“, Heike Vester in not content with merely providing some comforting feel-good noises as a spiritual backdrop your next lavalamp session. „Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesterålen“ is not just a document of what is, but also of what should remain. It presents us with a wealth of life, sounds and inspiration to show us what we’d have to do without if it should perish. The album accomplishes this without once striking up a schoolmasterly tone and by instead taking listeners on a trip and allowing them to learn by experience. It may not be the most typical approach in the land of field recordings, which is unfortunately still sometimes haunted by cliched images of flowerpower hippies recording bees in a field of flowers. But it is certainly the logical result of an artist whose life would make perfect food for a movie.
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radioeins / rbb | Die Sprache der Wale
Knurren, Brummen, Zirpen, Pfeifen, Zischen, Gurgeln – Nein es handelt sich nicht um die Geräusche ihres albernen Kaffeeautomaten, auch nicht um die Anweisungen eines Fußballtrainers am Spielfeldrand, so reden Wale miteinander. Auf den nordnorwegischen Lofoten im Fischerdorf Henningsfoer werden ihre Gespräche belauscht. Die Verhaltensbiologin Heike Vester erforscht die Kommunikation der Meeressäuger.

Gespräch mit Heike Vester:

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textura

Filing this one as a compilation is obviously a little bit unusual though there are various “artists” involved, even if they are whales of various kinds (killer, pilot, sperm), dolphins, and seals. Gruenrekorder spares no expense in presenting its latest field recording release, with the CD of sounds (recorded by biologist and Ocean Sounds founder Heike Vester at Tysfjord, Vestfjord, and Vesteralen) complemented by a full-colour digipack and mini-booklet of explanatory text and photographs. In one track, the high-pitched cry of a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) rings out ten metres away from the boat while another whale answers in the distance. Elsewhere, the echolocation clicks (the echoes of an animal’s high-pitched sounds are used to determine the direction and distance of objects, such as the location of sea food like squid or fish) of Atlantic white-striped dolphins (Lagenorynchus acutus) and male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are heard, as well as the plaintive sound of a Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) pup calling for its mother. If track ten sounds more tumultuous, it should as it documents a feeding frenzy involving sixty killer whales and a herring net that broke free from a seiner (a large vessel that catches fish using a seine, a large, vertically-hanging fishing net). Not only is the “compilation” compelling on listening grounds, it’s educational too. We learn, for example, that killer whales (Orcinus orca) feed on herring using a method called “carousel feeding” whereby the whales herd the herring together, chase it to the surface, and then hit it with their tails to kill or stun it. Here and in the other ten pieces, such detail renders the creatures’ whistles, clicks, calls, and squeals more meaningful in enabling the lay listener to visualize the scene.

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David Leveille | PRI’s The World

The rocky islands of the archipelago in the Norwegian Sea called Lofoten rise dramatically up out of the Norwegian Sea.
On them are scattered small fishing villages with names like Henningsvaer, a village of 450 residents, mostly fishermen, whalers and one marine biologist named Heike Vester.
Her research focuses on bio-acoustic communication among marine mammals…seals, killer whales, and other fish found in the waters of the Vestfjord. On most days, Vester packs her lunch, a G-PS, and a hydrophone (that’s an underwater microphone) and heads for open water on her zodiac:
“…and you scan the horizon for anything that doesn’t look like water. Sometimes when you see a white splash and you see it again and again and maybe you see a black fin that’s when you have found a whale… Once we’re with the whales, we hope that they’re not disturbed by us so that we can approach them slowly, stop the boat and record.”
Vester recorded this clicking sound. She says it’s sperm whales in search of a meal — their clicks travel thru the water, bounce off clusters of squid or fish, and echo back the good news. It’s called echo-location.
I recorded it in 2006 off the coast because the sperm whales don’t come into the Vestfjord they stay further out where it is quite they deep 2,000 meters where they find squid.
Now these are year-round residents in the Vestfjord . Vester says this pod of pilot whales was idling near the surface one summer day, buzzing and clicking.
They came up to the boat and they were just laying and calling and they called for quite some time you can hear they get little active, and then when it’s quiet they disappeared almost like saying goodbye to us.
Another marine mammal that likes to linger in these waters is the Orca. Vester says Killer whales have learned to loiter around Norwegian fishing boats as the catch is hauled in:
The killer whales search herring close to the boats or they wait till the fishing boats have hauled in the herring so they go and wait for the spill or steal herring directly from the net. I have reports from fisherman they say that sometimes in the morning when I woke up the horizon is black with killer whales just waiting for them to pull in the herring.
Who says there’s no free lunch? OK I saved the best for last. Vester made this recording out floating around the Vestfjord. There’s no boat engine rumbling to interfere. The Orcas speaks for themselves:
It was one of the rare situations where I actually encountered whales by myself, there were no other boats around and they were carousel feeding, It was 12-18 animals herding the herring which are usually deep it the water columns, so they have to dive down and pick it up and chase it to the surface and the buzzes are used to scare the herring under the surface they hit it with their tails that’s the tail slaps bang! and then the herring is dead and or stunned and they eat it one by one, they don’t just feed or feast on the herring no they’re very delicate, they just eat one herring and then another one.
Heike Vester has compiled 5 years worth of her recordings on new CD called Marine Mammals and Fish of Lofoten. There are no vocals. No guitar solos. Just whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and mackerel. Vester’s hope is that her audio research will promote protection of Lofoton’s unique marine ecosystem. It’s a fascinating listen. But the CD’s long and usual tracks shouldn’t be gulped down, better to savor them one by one the way Orcas eat herring.

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MASSIMO RICCI | TEMPORARY FAULT

One has to feel affection for characters such as Heike Vester, a “biologist, coordinator and founder of Ocean Sounds, specialized in bio-acoustics of marine animals”, whose “main interest is to preserve life on this planet by trying to minimize human destruction”. As naïve as this aspiration may look in this hopeless age, I often think that with a few additional millions of Vesters around the world there would still be a measure of hope for humanity. Oh, well. This CD – published by Gruenrekorder – is essentially a collection of calls and signals from the inhabitant of the seas from the Norwegian regions quoted by the title, two among the geographic areas in which Heike is active today as she studies the vocal behaviour of killer and pilot whales – the real protagonists, together with dolphins, of the whole project. The hard-to-believe gamut of emissions released – clicks, buzzes and synthesizer-like shrieks – are enjoyable alone or meshed with other aquatic elements, including the background sound of a fishing boat’s engine in a circumstance. Many of these sonorities have nothing to be envious of in comparison with certain anarchic fringes of EAI, to tell you the truth, and several of these cetaceans would easily dialogue with a Theremin – or with Thomas Lehn, if so preferred (this is meant as a compliment). A lovely edition, which nourishes a joy of existing that very rarely materializes in most everybody’s existence nowadays.

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aufabwegen | magazin

OCEANSOUNDS: Marina Mammals and Fish of Lofoten and Vesteralen CD (Gruenrekorder gruen066): Hinter Oceansounds verbirgt sich die Meeresbiologin Heike Vester, die seit Jahren faszinierende Aufnahmen aus den Tiefen einfängt. Die Walgesänge und Fischtöne sind in einen größeren Soundscape eingebunden, der zum Beispiel auch Bootsgeräusche oder ähnliches mit einfängt. Faszinierend.

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Oreshkin Sergey | maeror3.livejournal

В отличие от многочисленных и малоинтересных альбомов из серии «Музыка в гармонии с природой» (названия, конечно, могут меняться, но смысл остается все тот же), на которых голоса морских обитателей сопровождаются необременительной музыкой для релаксации, «Marine Mammals And Fish Of Lofoten And Vesterålen» является серьезной и, в первую очередь, научной работой, чуть ли не аудио приложением к диссертации. Вышел он под эгидой «WWF», да и сама Хейке Вестер не музыкант, а ученый из Норвегии, специалист по биоакустике и эхолокации морских животных. В отличие от упомянутых выше сборников, природа здесь не приглажена, дика, а ее обитатели поют свои песни, не задумываясь, понравится ли это нам или нет. И, опять же, в отличии (упоминаю эти слова в последний раз) от «природно-мелодичного» нью-эйджа, звуки, собранные на этом диске, способны изрядно потрепать нервную систему «неуютными» частотами, если вы, конечно, не касатка или дельфин.
Фауна Норвежского моря наполняет эти треки высокочастотным (иногда за пределами человеческого слуха, отчего бывает неуютно даже, казалось бы, в относительной тишине) писком, криками, плеском, разными шумами, свистом и щелчками своих коротких диалогов, разносимых в воде на многие мили. Кто-то кого-то догоняет, кто-то кого-то ест, огромные косяки рыб вдруг резко меняют свое направление и уносятся в глубины холодного моря. Сверхчувствительные микрофоны все это тщательно фиксируют (не забывая о звуках самой воды, которые различаются на глубине и на поверхности, а также об артефактах человеческой деятельности, таких, как шум опускаемых в воду сетей и гул моторов катеров и кораблей), чтобы потом ученые смогли попытаться расшифровать, о чем они говорят, эти стремительные черные и синие живые торпеды, проносящиеся мимо. Слушателям, конечно, ничего расшифровывать не надо, достаточно просто погрузиться в мир этих голосов и звуков, и почувствовать восторг от этой живой, бьющей через край энергии. Эстеты и меломаны могут обратить свое внимание на тот факт, что, судя по всему, микротональную музыку природа изобрела задолго до человека.

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