Cod-spawning and Music in Stockholm


The project Cod-spawning and Music will be at demo-stage at Tekniska museet in Stockholm February 11-12, 20023. In the project we use recordings of the cods’ mating sounds to make contemporary music. We also use humans’ nerve-signals to modulate the sound. The long term goal is to use real time data from cod and humans in order to create a platform for exchange. Here is the team describe the project:

“When cod gather to mate each spring, they do not just mix and mate with random partners. They have a complex mating ritual that involves both audio (“song”) and visual (“dance”) displays. The music is made when the males beat their ‘drumming muscles’ against their swim bladder to produce rhythms, usually while dancing around the female. Science has been able to show that males with larger drum muscles have more offspring, which indicates that this drumming is important for attracting partners.

At the ‘Center for Coastal Research, University of Agder’ on the southern coast of Norway, they study how these drum behaviours vary between individual cod, what makes some individuals more attractive than others, and whether cod have different dialects depending on where they come from. The work takes place in specially designed pools where about 50 cod live throughout the mating season.”

The goal of the project is to create a platform where humans and codfish can interact to get a more intimate sense of what each others’ lives are like. The team is made up of:

  • Per Huttner (Visual artist and musician, Stockholm)
  • John Andrew Wilhite (Musician, Oslo)
  • Rebekah Oomen (Marine biologist, Oslo)
  • Susanna Huneide Thorbjørnson (Marine biologist, Agder)
  • Robert Oostenveld (Neuroscientist, Nijmegen)

The project is supported by Statens kulturråd, Längmanska kulturfonde and Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse.