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CinéSchool presents “Bernie Krause, A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra”

©Masha Karpoukhina for Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

By Nathalie Charles, Program manager, CinéSchool

On the occasion of the exhibition The Great Animal Orchestra at Exploratorium in San Francisco (Until October 15, 2023), CinéSchool is pleased to present the 2021 documentary film, Bernie Krause, A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra, directed by French filmmaker Vincent Tricon in partnership with Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.

For more than fifty years, American musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause has been recording the sounds of nature and animals around the world. On the occasion of the exhibition The Great Animal Orchestra at Exploratorium in San Francisco with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (Until October 15, 2023), students registered in the CinéSchool program will be able to watch a documentary about his work online for free from October 2-9, 2023, and will have access to educational resources created specifically for this project. Students will also be able to participate in an interactive discussion on Flip following the screening with the film’s director and the Fondation Cartier team.

Register for the screening now!

Bernie Krause, A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra

Directed by Vincent Tricon and produced by Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
2021, 37 min., in English with French subtitles; recommended for ages 11+

For more than fifty years, American musician and “soundscape ecologist” Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording the sounds of animals, terrestrial and marine species, in their natural habitats. Bernie sends us an urgent message about the climate emergency and the fragility of the wild world. The film delves into the world of a passionate man who was the first to hear the song of the world, and who contends that if we want to preserve it, we must learn to listen. 

Themes: animal, biodiversity, bioacoustics, biophony, spectrograms, climate change, environment, music, nature, soundscape

Discover The Great Animal Orchestra  

Over the course of nearly 50 years, Bernie Krause collected more than 5,000 hours of recordings of natural environments, including at least 15,000 terrestrial and marine species from around the world. These soundscapes invite us into an immersive audio-visual experience to listen to the world’s biodiversity and the collective biophony across the world.  

This installation is a collaboration between Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists. It was commissioned in 2016 by Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and is now part of its permanent collection. The website The Great Animal Orchestra invites you to be the conductor of nature’s vast musical ensemble, explore landscape ecology, and become aware of the urgent need to preserve the splendors of the animal world.  

How to participate

This screening is presented as part of CinéSchool, a free French film initiative for young audiences, presented by Villa Albertine, the French Embassy, and FACE Foundation. CinéSchool is a program reserved for French teachers in the US (French schools, French immersion and dual-language programs, Alliances Francaises, French as a Foreign Language and Heritage Language, and FLAM programs).

To register for Bernie Krause, A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra, fill in the form available here.
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In partnership with

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is a private cultural institution whose mission is to promote all fields of contemporary artistic creation to the international public through a program of temporary exhibitions, live performances and lectures. Created in 1984 by the Maison Cartier, the historic institution is located in Paris in a building designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. Fostering surprising and unexpected encounters between artists, scientists, philosophers, musicians and architects from around the world, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has over the years developed a program of distinctive contemporary art exhibitions on subjects ranging from science to cinema, dance to design, and has built a unique collection that brings together more than 2,000 works by 500 artists of 50 different nationalities. For more than two decades, the Fondation Cartier has engaged in projects that examine and address the most urgent issues facing the environment, animal life and indigenous peoples.


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