Emily Doolittle

Creativity, Research, 2016, 2011, Grantee Link >

Born in Canada, and based in Scotland, Emily Doolittle is a composer and zoomusicologist. She writes:

I am the grateful recipient of two Culture & Animals Foundation grants. My first grant, in 2011, enabled me to spend five months as composer-in-residence at the Max Planck Centre for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany. While there, I co-wrote a paper on the song of the musician wren with ornithologist Henrik Brumm (“O Canto do Uirapuru: Consonant Intervals and Patterns in the Song of the Musician Wren,” Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies 6.1, 2012), wrote a piece based on the songs of duetting birds (“Seven Duos for Birds or Strings), and had a concert of my birdsong-related music performed by members of the Bavarian State Opera. My second grant, awarded in 2016, funded my collaborative research on grey seal vocalizations with biologists Vincent Janik and Alex Carroll at St. Andrews University. We made video and audio recordings of the seals at Tentsmuir Forest, and elsewhere.

In June 2017, the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Trinity Youth Chorus premiered Seal Songs, based on the work with grey seals. Since then, Emily has continued to create music inspired by, or influenced by a variety of animals. Animals that have made their way into her music include the Bowhead Whale and Canadian birds, including the bobolink, the hermit thrush, the winter wren, snow geese, and five species of owls. She has continued to conduct research, and participate in a variety of talks.