The latest installment from the Unusual Creatures project hit the Internet yesterday with the launch of a new video series exploring unusual creatures and the music they inspire. For the first episode, The Secret Life of Lemurs, host and composer Michael Hearst visits the Duke Lemur Center to meet the aye-aye, a strange and unusual creature if ever one existed. The video explores the fascinating world of aye-ayes and the process of composing musical pieces for unusual creatures. The Kronos Quartet performs the piece “Aye-Aye” while Hearst talks about the creature and tours the Lemur Center. Hearst and the Quartet also talk about the ways their violins and cellos can reproduce the sounds of the aye-aye, like tapping on wood to find bugs or melodies designed to invoke the imagery of an aye-aye walking through the trees at night. Fun, educational and musical, Hearst and the Kronos Quartet help viewers learn about Madagascar’s endangered aye-aye through imaginative musical composition. The best part is that the premier episode featured lemurs!
You can read about Hearst’s visit to the DLC from an earlier post, “Aye-Ayes Bring Musical Inspiration to Hearst and Kronos Quartet.”