In his truly exuberant and awe-inspiring book, Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song, David Rothenberg engages in a fascinating discussion of music, science, and poetry. As a musician and philosopher, Rothenberg is not satisfied with the standard explanation that birds only sing “to attract mates, to prove their genetic fitness with exhausting displays of virtuosity, or defend their territory with angry sounds.” With a sense of openness and wonder, Rothenberg studies bird song from a multiplicity of angles, including the possibility that birds sing because it brings them joy.
Tune in to hear the author describe his jam sessions with birds, the latest scientific findings about bird song, and what birds can teach us about communication, music, and our place in the natural world. As an additional treat, you’ll hear samples from the book’s associated CD, which includes birds’ songs and human music, in a set of unique and beautiful cross-species interactions.
Listen right now: