Innovative Whale Song Remix Contest

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Washington, D.C.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today launched the “Whale Remix Project,” an original online contest where users can create their own song using the sounds of the humpback whale. A celebrity panel will judge the top ten songs selected by IFAW. The winner will receive a 60GB video iPod and have their song featured in upcoming public service announcements about illegal commercial whaling.
Sample whale mixes available at www.stopwhaling.org/community.

Johanna Fateman of Le Tigre; Tom Dumont of No Doubt; Lisa Kekuala of The Bellrays; electronic music composer and producer BT; composer and producer Wayne Kramer (founding member of MC5); hip-hop artist and producer Head-Roc; Sid Barcelona of Thunderball; composer and producer Chris Vrenna (former member of Nine Inch Nails and touring drummer for Marilyn Manson); and Mike Ski of the A.K.A.s. are members of the panel judging the contest.

“This contest provides a fun way to connect people with these magnificent creatures and their unique songs, and to promote citizen action to protect them in the face of a new whaling offensive by Japan,” said Greg Wetstone, U.S. director for IFAW. “We hope this effort will encourage music pros and amateurs alike to take an interest in the future of the planet’s whales, and especially the endangered humpback.”

The Whale Remix Project can be found at www.stopwhaling.org. The contest ends June 11, 2006 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winners will be announced July 3, 2006. In addition to the 60GB video iPod for the top winner, runners-up could win an iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle.

“The humpback whale sings a beautiful song that must never be silenced by illegal whaling,” said Dr. Roger Payne, the scientist who discovered that humpback whales sing and creator of the album, Songs of the Humpback Whale, the best selling natural history recording ever released. “Human activity already places tremendous stress on whale populations struggling to come back from humanity’s long history of whaling. Japan’s growing commercial whaling is an added strain that could be too much for several whale species.”

The Whale Remix Project houses recordings of humpback whales in a Flash tool that allows users to mix and record their own songs using a simple keyboard interface. DJ’s (both amateur and pro) are invited to mash their own remixes offline by downloading the humpback whale songs used in the Flash player. Humpback whales make long, uninterrupted streams of sound that with rhythmic patterns that many people consider to be beautiful songs.

Commercial whaling has been banned internationally since 1986, and the hunting of humpback whales has been banned for more than four decades. Since the ban on whaling took effect, Japan has killed more than 25,000 whales in the name of scientific research, selling the whale meat to restaurants and markets. Japan has announced plans to expand its whaling to include threatened humpback whales next year.

Visitors to www.stopwhaling.org can urge President Bush to take tougher action against Japan’s illegal whale slaughter.

Judges Statements:

“These whale sounds are the coolest samples I’ve heard in years, and I can’t wait to hear what everyone comes up with. Using whale samples to make music is a rad way for musicians and listeners to make a personal connection to these magnificent creatures.” - Tom Dumont, No Doubt

“I am very proud to be a part of IFAW’s Whale Remix Project and I encourage beat-makers everywhere to make a track in support of this important campaign. Help raise awareness against the cruelty of whaling and make music that matters!” - Johanna Fateman, Le Tigre

“It’s an honor for me to participate in the Whale Remix project. The slaughter of the whales must stop, and hopefully by creating new music based around whale songs, people will realize just how much these great creatures offer.” - Chris Vrenna, composer, electronic and industrial music producer

“In the insatiable quest for convenience, comfort, and ‘progress,’ the human race often loses its’ sense of responsibility and clemency. The cruel and senseless situation with whaling in Japan is one of those cases and must be met full force with resistance and a call for change. Stopwhaling.org is in the face of that fight, and we in The A.K.A.s are proud to stand on the side of common sense, conservation, and compassion. Please join us.” - Mike Ski / The A.K.A.s

“Life is Music. Every living creature is a composition unto itself and it's being, and so it's an honor to be able to interpret and offer my rendition of one of Life's greatest masterpieces - The Whale.” - Head-Roc, hip-hop artist and composer

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Experts

Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Isabel McCrea, Regional Director, Oceania
Regional Director, Oceania
IFAW Japan Representative
IFAW Japan Representative
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Whales