"There is music in nature and nature in music. What may be most wonderful is that we can love and be immersed by both without needing to understand how the two are forever intertwined. It is enough to know that they are"
David Rothenberg's music connects the living sounds of the natural world to the traditions of global rhythmic innovation and improvisation. Inspired by the melodies and beats of birds, insects, whales, water, and wind, he blends spontaneous musical inventiveness with a sense of rhythm, exhuberance, and the listening that is inherent in nature.
As a clarinetist, Rothenberg has performed and recorded with Marilyn Crispell, Jan Bang, Scanner, Hamid Drake, Glen Velez, Karl Berger, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, Nils Økland, and the Karnataka College of Percussion. He has seven CDs out under his own name, including "On the Cliffs of the Heart," named one of the top ten releases of 1995 by Jazziz magazine.
He was the editor of the MIT Press journal Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, and edited the various Terra Nova books based on the journal, including The Book of Music and Nature (Wesleyan, 2001) and Writing the World: On Globalization (MIT, 2005). His articles have appeared in Parabola, Orion, The Nation, Wired, Dwell, Kyoto Journal, The Globe and Mail, Sierra and the New York Times.
His book and CD Why Birds Sing have received much attention in the USA, England, and Australia. The book has come out in Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Korean. It was turned into a BBC feature documentary featuring Laurie Anderson, Beth Orton, and Jarvis Cocker. Rothenberg has performed many concerts of his music interwoven with natural sounds all over the world.