Reflecting on a Critical Musical Connection with Nature

Written by: Dean Maskevich,

Violence in many forms has been a sad and troubling constant in the history of humanity. For David Rothenberg, distinguished professor of philosophy and music in the Department of Humanities, the violence we are threatening against other species that share the planet with us has reached a new and critical stage. But as he reflects in a recent interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books, there are positive ways, especially through music, to connect with nature. Read the complete interview at

Distinguished Professor David Rothenberg

Widely acclaimed as a musician and composer, Rothenberg received the NJIT Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal in 2010. His 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, exuberance, and listening to nature.

Rothenberg’s extensive list of publications includes Why Birds Sing and Thousand Mile Song. Accompanied by a CD of his musical interaction with whales, Thousand Mile Song is an exploration of the vital links that we can establish with other species and, perhaps, avoid mutually destructive violence. His next book, Nightingales in Berlin, will be published in 2018.