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Nightingales in Berlin


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About the Author

David Rothenberg is distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the author of many books investigating music in nature, including Why Birds Sing, Survival of the Beautiful, and Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise. His writings have been translated into more than eleven languages and among his twenty one music CDs is One Dark Night I Left My Silent House, on ECM.


"David Rothenberg makes music with whales, insects, birds, water, and wind, and writes splendid philosophical meditations about it all. In Nightingales in Berlin, he tracks the most celebrated of birds. Rather than gushing poetic about it as so many have done, Rothenberg confesses that the sound of the nightingale is completely 'weird, ' and takes as his project to pursue the unknown, to attempt communication with the alien. Listening carefully to birds and humans, Rothenberg offers thoughtful reflections on interspecies communication, dissatisfaction and perfection, science and art, signal and noise, evolution, the world soundscape, and the past and future of the planet."--Christoph Cox, author of Sonic Flux: Sound, Art, and Metaphysics
"The book is memorable chiefly for its deeply-in-the-know exploration of a musical subgenre peopled by sound recordists, experimentalists and jazz improvisers, each working to replicate, manipulate or play counterpoint to the baffling music of the non-human world. . . . Nightingales in Berlin is a passionate and rather touchingly sincere quest for beauty, human and otherwise."--Richard Smyth "Times Literary Supplement "

"In a sense, the song of the bird in the title of this short, hugely thoughtful and fascinating book is a measure of the gap between nature and human culture. . . . Rothenberg strikes me as bonkers, but also brilliant, and his book expands on this musical challenge to ask key questions relevant to anyone engaged with the natural world."

--The Spectator

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