Points of Interest: The Music Edition

These are the places and sounds we’re checking out in August.

Humpback whale off of the coast of Maui
   Photo: Cesere Brothers - NMFS Permit #17845

Place

Listen to a humpback whale chorus off the coast of Maui What’s more incredible than spotting a majestic, school bus-sized humpback whale? Hearing one sing, too. During their mating season in the warm waters off Maui (November to May), male humpbacks produce complex songs, made up of melodic patterns of moans, cries, clicks and whistles, that can last up to 30 minutes and be heard underwater hundreds of kilometres away. Bernie Krause, a soundscape ecologist who has recorded dozens of hours of whale songs around the Hawaiian island, describes them as otherworldly: “I was amazed at the range of the whales’ utterances, the form of the phrases and the urgency of their vocalizations,” he says. Krause has been travelling the planet to record and archive the sounds of the natural world since 1968.

The book cover of High School, by Tegan + Sara

Books

Tegan and Sara on first loves and first songs Pop trailblazers and international LGBTQ+ activists, the twin-sister duo Tegan and Sara Quin are now writing in a new way. Their memoir, High School ($32, Simon & Schuster), which hits shelves September 24, chronicles their experiences growing up at the height of 1990s counterculture. The pair delivers insights into their origin story with enough nostalgia-tinged tales of ripped jeans and favourite tunes to make you feel like a teen again.

The lobby of the Sister City hotel in New York
   Photo: Sister City + Floret + Last Light - Adrian Gaut

Design

Tune in to this hotel lobby’s musical score Checking in has never sounded so good: Sister City (the newest property by the team behind Ace Hotels) opened earlier this year in New York’s Lower East Side and, thanks to a partnership with Microsoft AI, its lobby brings the outside in. Experimental musician Julianna Barwick has composed music to correspond with the building’s surroundings, which changes in real time based on what the rooftop camera picks up. Expect an immersive soundscape, including raindrops and cooing pigeons, to set the tone on the minimalist ground floor, complete with lounge chairs and potted plants.

Korvaa headphones by Aivan and Synbio Powerhouse
   Photo: Aivan

Technology

This set of headphones is made from microbes Finnish design house Aivan, in collaboration with Synbio Powerhouse, has created the Korvaa, the world’s first headset made with microbially grown materials. Using mycelium, a fungus’ vegetative system, these headphones are 100-percent biodegradable. While they are still in the prototype stage, one day you may be able to listen to your inflight playlist through a zero-waste headset.

Fashion

Korean pop band BTS gets decked out in Dior The K-pop sensation made history (again) when Dior Men announced that it would outfit the boy band for their 2019 tour, marking the first time the brand has created stage wear for a pop group. Designed in collaboration with Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama, the getups feature harnesses and combat boots – a perfect fit for BTS’s fashion-forward look.
 

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