Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg knows why birds, whales, and bugs sing.
Distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, David has performed and recorded on clarinet with Pauline Oliveros, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, Suzanne Vega, Scanner, Glen Velez, Elliot Sharp, Markus Reuter, and the Karnataka College of Percussion. Most of his work has an environmental theme and involves the sounds of nature, live and in the studio. He has sixteen CDs out under his own name, including On the Cliffs of the Heart, which was named one of the top ten releases of 1995 by Jazziz magazine, and One Dark Night I Left My Silent House, a duet album on ECM with pianist Marilyn Crispell, called “une petite miracle” by Le Monde and named one of the ten best CDs of 2010 by The Village Voice.
David is the author of Why Birds Sing, a book and CD published in seven languages and the subject of a BBC television documentary, and the author of numerous other books on music, art, and nature, including Thousand Mile Song, about making music with whales, and Survival of the Beautiful, about aesthetics in evolution. His book and CD Bug Music, featuring the sounds of the entomological world, has been featured on PBS News Hour and in The New Yorker. His latest recordings are Cicada Dream Band, Cool Spring and Berlin Bülbül.
Lately, David has worked on several films, including the award-winning Song from the Forest, about pygmy music, and Nightingales in Berlin, about making music live with birds.