Program Notes

In 2011, researchers observed that humpback whales traveling from their antarctic summer homes to their tropical breeding grounds swam in remarkably straight paths. This discovery was surprising, in part, due to the whales’ slow movement through featureless open ocean over distances exceeding 11,000 miles. The researchers proposed several ways that the animals navigate with such precision. One theory was that the humpbacks have an innate sense of the Earth’s magnetism. Another was that the whales’ well-known songs help guide them through long distance communication. Finally, the researchers hypothesized that these marine mammals might use celestial bodies to orient their journeys in much the same way that ancient mariners used star sightings to travel the seas. Ultramarine is inspired by the humpback migration, evoking whale clicks, cries, and groans, and guided by the constellations Lyra, the harp, and Cetus, the great fish.

Related Work

Night In Arcturus Stream



viola (or violin) and computer

Ursa Minor

euphonium and computer