HONOLULU (KHON2) — World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma traveled on a famous voyaging canoe and brought music to Native Hawaiian practitioners and the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology researchers and students.
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The trip off the Big Island featured a musical performance and conversation about the uniqueness of whales in Hawaii and their connection to nature and music.
“Yo-Yo Ma’s team chose to work with HIMB because of our mutual interest and experience in making connections across art and science,” said HIMB Director Eleanor Sterling. “We hope that these kinds of immersive cultural experiences can help foster our sense of stewardship of the Earth’s amazing resources, in Hawaii and around the world.”
UH Marine Mammal Research Program Director Lars Bejder and Faculty/Researcher Aude Pacini sailed onboard the Hokulea with their crew.
“We discussed how humans impact the world’s oceans and how we can raise awareness about the plight of the health of the oceans through music and whales—both of which allow us to draw in many people to convey important messages about how we need to protect the oceans,” said Bejder.
Once they reached their destination, Yo-Yo Ma performed the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Pacini had a hydrophone underwater and recorded the sounds from the hull of the Hokulea.
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When the song was playing, a humpback whale breached in the distance.