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URMC / Arts in Mind / Upcoming AIM Events

Upcoming AIM Events

Multidisciplinary Symposium:  Humpback Whales and their Extraordinary Mystery of Song

Sunday, November 3, 2019

12 PM - 5 PM (no cost)

Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School of Music


Notes and Bios


This symposium targets the ecology of the oceans, while focusing ultimately on highly intelligent aquatic mammals—cetaceans—and humpback whales in particular. These creatures display complex cooperative behavior, including their unique and mysterious songs. The topic is wide and relevant to numerous academic programs across campuses, and that is reflected in the pan-campus effort entailed in forming this event. Key elements include the Arts in Mind Project (AIM) from the URMC, the Eastman School of Music (ESM), where the event will take place, and the College which houses the Institute for the Performing Arts (IPA) and the Program of Dance and Movement. Two honored guests and collaborators on the study of whales will present. Jim Darling will discuss the ecological science and research underlying what is known about whales and their environment, while Flip Nicklin, an internationally renowned National Geographic photographer of whales and their behavior, will present his history and images that chronical four decades of study and interactions with these remarkable whales. Finally, Matthew Curlee (ESM) and colleagues will create and perform an exciting new musical composition in honor of humpback song (ESM students and faculty), to also include a Dance component choreographed by Mariah Steele and Missy Pfohl Smith (UR Dance Program, faculty and students).

Schedule of Events

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM       Welcome and Introduction                                                                       Gary Paige

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM          Five Really Strange Things about Humpback Whale Song                    Jim Darling

1:30 PM  –  2:30 PM          Nomads of the Deep: A Personal Story with Art through Images          Flip Nicklin

2:30 PM  –  3:00 PM          Break – (all; write down a question for our panel)

3:00 PM  –  4:00 PM          Panel Discussion and Q&A Session                           Jim Darling, Flip Nicklin, and Gary Paige

4:00 PM  –  4:20 PM          Brief pause to set the stage for performance

4:20 PM  –  5:00 PM          Unsoftly, to the Night (World Premiere)                                                 Matt Curlee

              Mark Powell, music director
              Missy Pfohl Smith & Mariah Steele, choreographers
              Instrumental and Vocal Students from the Eastman School of Music
              Members of BIODANCE and the University of Rochester Program of Dance and Movement
              Photos and video by Flip Nicklin@Mindenpictures, Jason Sturgis, Ralph Pace and the Whale Trust Archive.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM           Reception with light refreshments. All are welcome!