The Great Animal Orchestra

Presented at the Stargazer Lawn, Barangaroo for the duration of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, from 12 March to 13 June 2022, Biennale of Sydney and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain present the Australian première of The Great Animal Orchestra, a singular and memorable encounter with our living planet. 

The Great Animal Orchestra is a compelling call to action to preserve our planet’s remaining wild places. Listen closely to these animal voices. How can you help to ensure that they are not silenced forever?

The environmentally focused work by American pioneer soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and London-based collective United Visual Artists represents a collision of culture and nature.

The Great Animal Orchestra will take audience members out of city life and into tropical grasslands, savannas and Arctic tundra for an ‘otherworldly encounter’ with a soundscape of 15,000 animal species recorded over the last 50 years.

About the composer

After working with musicians like The Doors and creating effects for film scores, Bernie Krause turned his back on studio work and headed outdoors to focus on field recording.

Krause has been recording animals for 45 years and has amassed a collection of more than 5,000 hours of sounds recordings of over 15,000 individual species in their natural habitats from all over the world.

Krause’s unparalleled research is a rare insight into the unseen world of animals. It reveals the beauty and the intricacy of animal vocalisations, which are now in danger of being silenced by human activity.

Through his recording, Krause implores us to start listening before hush descends on the ‘great animal orchestra’. The immersive soundscape comes to life with visualisations, created by United Visual Artists, of each animal’s contributions to the ‘orchestra’ in vulnerable habitats in Africa, North America, the Pacific Ocean and the Amazonas (Amazon River). 

Event details

The Great Animal Orchestra
Stargazer Lawn, Barangaroo
12 March to 13 June 2022

Open daily 10 am–5 pm with extended hours every Wednesday 5–9 pm
Free entry, registration essential via this link