dolphin song


SAM WU


About the piece:

Dolphin song is a lamentation on the extinction of Yangtze River white dolphins. Already on the decline since the 1980s, the white dolphins, also known as baiji and Lipotes vexillifer, were declared functionally extinct in 2007. As this extinction is a direct result of human activity along the Yangtze River, including transportation, excessive fishing, and construction for hydroelectricity, the baiji is the first dolphin species driven to extinction solely due to mankind.

Traditionally, local fishermen had nicknames for the white dolphins, including “princess of the Yangtze” and “protector of the river.” Thus, the extinction of the baiji also lead to the loss of cultural heritage along the Yangtze River. Dolphin Song attempts to highlight this dual extinction by incorporating Yangtze folk music traditions. Ultimately, I hope that my music can raise awareness and inspire audiences in a different way than other media on the same issue.

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