The Nature of Music: Jim Nollman

Presented by Other Minds

Other Minds is making history with its first event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic by featuring a composer, artist, writer, and activist Jim Nollman from his home in Friday Harbor, Washington. The event will take place Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 5pm PST as a livestream on the Other Minds Website,, Facebook, Twitch, and Youtube, Jim Nollman has spent a lifetime performing live with "super-human" improvisers—musicians that never stepped foot inside of Juilliard. The concert will feature Other Minds Executive and Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian in conversation with our featured composer Jim Nollman, who has dedicated his life to the art and science of “interspecies” communication and music. The virtual interview will feature selected recordings of live performances with Orcas, Macaws, and Turkeys as well as never-before-heard electroacoustic and contra dance music by Nollman. Amirkhanian and Nollman will also discuss the composer's role in the U.S. Navy's efforts to combat whale deaths through sonar, his work as an activist against Dolphin drive fisheries in Japan, and the intersection of technology and intuition involved in collaborating musically with animals. Help us celebrate this milestone by tuning in! We will have a short Q&A at the end of the event, if you'd like to ask a question, you can do so during the virtual concert via the comments section on facebook, youtube, or twitch (although you must be logged into the website you're commenting from, so if you'd like to watch on a platform you've never used before, make an account now to save yourself the time!). ABOUT JIM NOLLMAN Jim Nollman (born January 1947, in Boston) is a composer, conceptual artist, author of five books, and an environmental activist. He graduated from Tufts University in 1969. In 1973, he composed “Turkey Song”, a Thanksgiving Day radio piece that featured Nollman singing and playing flutes with 300 tom turkeys. From that point forward, he began his lifelong pursuit of composing and recording "interspecies music" with other animals. Nollman has released several albums on Smithsonian Folkways Records, including Playing Music with Animals: Interspecies Communication of Jim Nollman with 300 turkeys, 12 wolves and 20 Orcas. Nollman directed one of Greenpeace’s first overseas projects, at Iki Island, Japan, where fishermen were slaughtering dolphins to compensate for human overfishing. In 1978, Nollman founded the organization Interspecies, which sponsors artists’ efforts to communicate with animals through music and art. Its best-known project is a twenty-five year study using live music to interact with wild orcas off the west coast of Canada.
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Jim Nollman composer
Charles Amirkhanian moderator