Whale Fall

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Composed by
Daniel Portelli
electric bass guitar, flute, percussion, piano, violin, voice
With electronics
Music and...
Computer assisted composition
Work premiered
July 2021
Venue of the premiere
Theater am Leibnizplatz, Bremen (Germany)
9 minutes

Whale Fall confronts the instability of our ecosystems, comparing the decaying process of a whale carcass as it sinks to the bottom of the ocean, with the moral decay of our society. This idea is transferred to the music as falling lines and decomposing sounds, full of violence and hopelessness. The music starts by simulating ‘acoustical smog’, or underwater noise pollution, which whales are highly sensitive to and had to endure relentlessly throughout their lives. Then, a falling decaying whale as it descends into the depths of the ocean floor. And then, the final section ‘The Infinity Chamber’ imagines an inner ear bone of a whale resting on the seabed, forever listening to the changing acoustics of the ocean.