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Yo-Yo Ma, Hōkūleʻa Team Up with UH Whale Experts to Unite Music and Nature

UH students and researchers accompanied world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma aboard the Hōkūleʻa in December. (Photo Credit: Austin Mann)

UH News, first published January 17, 2023

An unlikely collaboration of a world-renowned cellist aboard the most famous voyaging canoe brought music to the world including the ears of Native Hawaiian practitioners and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) researchers and students, and perhaps even the wildlife in December. The once in a lifetime trip in waters off of Hawaiʻi Island featured a memorable performance and discussion about the unique culture of whales in Hawaiʻi and connections between music and nature.

“Yo-Yo Ma’s team chose to work with HIMB because of our mutual interest and experience in making connections across art and science. We hope that these kinds of immersive cultural experiences can help foster our sense of stewardship of the Earth’s amazing resources, in Hawaiʻi and around the world,” said HIMB Director Eleanor Sterling.

UH’s Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) Director Lars Bejder and Faculty/Researcher Aude Pacini had the opportunity to sail onboard the Hōkūleʻa—together with approximately 20 other people—including Hōkūleʻa crew, Yo-Yo Ma and his team, and other respected Native Hawaiian practitioners. Late in the afternoon, the team departed from Kawaihae Harbor on Hawaiʻi Island’s Kohala coast and they returned after sunset.

Please see the full story on UH News!