WORCESTER, MASS. — Whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, songbirds greet the dawn, and people everywhere sing and dance. What do we all have in common? Visitors of all ages will find out on Saturday, May 30, when Wild Music: Experience the Sounds and Songs of Life, a hands-on exhibit that explores sound and music in nature and in life, opens at the EcoTarium in Worcester, Mass. Wild Music will be located on the museum’s middle and lower levels, through Sunday, September 6, 2015. Exhibit admission is included with general museum admission.
Wild Music invites visitors of all ages to expand their understanding of what makes music. Through whimsical, hands-on activities, they’ll not only hear the music that surrounds them every day, but they’ll see and even feel it, too. They’ll discover that nature is filled with “musicians” that create distinct musical masterpieces to communicate with and relate to one another. And they’ll explore how human music is inspired by the music of other living creatures – from tiny insects to giant whales.
Highlights of Wild Music include:
- Two immersive “soundscapes” that invite visitors to explore sound and music that comes from the ocean and the forest. Visitors will learn to interpret spectrograms, or “pictures,” of bird songs, learn what whale cries tell us about the animal’s life cycle, see samples of instruments from around the world, experiment with how sound travels underwater, explore how music influences memory, and more.
- The Jamming Room, a soundproof practice studio where visitors can use pre-recorded audio soundscapes, animal voices, percussion instruments, and live vocals to compose their own songs.
- Three Bioacoustics Labs, where visitors can experiment with how the human voice works and how it compares to that of other animals, specifically birds. Here, visitors can explore a model of the human larynx and the bird syrinx, use an electrolarynx to “speak” without using their voices, and use a set of vibrating metal reeds to “feel” sound.
- The Power of Sound and Music Theater, where visitors can sit back, relax, and experience sounds from around the world. The seven-minute, sound-driven video demonstrates – both visually and audibly – how animals use sound to identify themselves, communicate, and form and nurture social groups.
With its hands-on activities and music samples drawn from natural soundscapes from across the globe, Wild Music invites visitors to celebrate every note of every player in the symphony of life.
Weekly Wild Music themed interactive and educational programs will be offered, in addition to other special activities and events. Visit ecotarium.org for more information.
Built using ecologically green materials, Wild Music is a production of ASTC, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, with major funding from the National Science Foundation and additional support from Harman International and NEC Foundation of America.
Wild Music is presented locally by UniBank, Arts Boston, baystateparent, and Worcester Bravehearts.
Designed with an Eye to Accessibility
Wild Music is designed to be accessible to all visitors. All of the exhibit’s videos are narrated and captioned, and more than a dozen major components have audio descriptions for vision-impaired visitors. Many components incorporate tactile (raised line) graphic illustrations, and many have visitor-adjustable volume controls. All areas of the exhibit were built to be accessible for visitors using wheelchairs.
In addition, text in Wild Music is printed in large, highly-readable type and is written in both English, Spanish, and, in some cases, Braille.
A special sensory-friendly morning for families seeking a quieter, more controlled experience is planned for Sunday, August 23, 2015.
EcoTarium is New England's leading museum of science and nature, an indoor-outdoor experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. The museum includes a building with three floors of interactive exhibits, the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through its forest and meadow, a tree canopy walkway (seasonal), and its newest outdoor interactive exhibit, Nature Explore®.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children 2-18, seniors 65+ and students with ID. WOO card holders receive $2 off admission for up to four people. Planetarium shows and the Tree Canopy Walkway require additional admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit ecotarium.org.
Charlene L. Leith-Bushey
Manager of Marketing and Communications