Art and music have power; they can reach people more deeply than nearly any other medium. That’s why toy designer, musician and all around cool person Jen Long gathered a group of eclectic artists (William Schaff, Rachel Rosenkrantz, Gwen Forrester and Jess Rosenkranz) to help make her concept of The Whale Guitar a reality. Their combined mastery has transformed a scrap of Corian into an incredibly lifelike piece of scrimshaw, or carved whalebone, that makes beautiful music to bring attention to the plight of the whales.
Well, not just whales. We humans have a big effect on our oceans, and The Whale Guitar is one means to monitor news, issues and victories concerning the marine environment that covers so much of our world.
The Whale Guitar is a beautiful sculpture with clear sound that has been played by scores of talented musicians since its public debut last spring. So of course Moonie had to get up close and personal with it.
Here he is above J Mascis’ signature. Yup, the dude behind Dinosaur Jr. has played The Whale Guitar.
Moonie enjoyed reading a few more signatures of artists who’ve played the Whale Guitar. He had a ball looking for names of various musicians, including those he has crushes on, like Roz Raskin (because she sometimes has pink hair like him).
He seemed a teeny tiny bit scared of The Whale Guitar’s cool skull tuning pegs, so he asked if I could make them a little blurry in the picture so they’d seem warmer and fuzzier. I notice he still managed to give them hugs, though. The dude loves hugs.
“My, what big teeth you have,” he told The Whale Guitar while posing with its artwork.
“Do you floss?”
He didn’t get a response, but that didn’t dampen his spirits.
But The Whale Guitar’s real magic happens in the hands of musicians. Jen Long played a wonderful set on it, and Moonie nearly swooned from the front row as she spun incredible songs from the words of poets.
He also got to see Barn Burning‘s Anthony Loffredio play the Whale Guitar, followed by a “whale” of a set by Smith & Weeden.
A couple months ago, his pals Jocie and Zach from Arc Iris played the Whale Guitar at a cookout.
And his pal Chris Daltry from The ‘Mericans jammed on The Whale Guitar, too.
Really, all kinds of cool people have played The Whale Guitar, and more are lining up all the time. It’s a great project for a great cause, so keep your eyes peeled on The Whale Guitar’s Instagram page for photos and videos of other star encounters. The Whale Guitar will continue making rounds, singing for the whales in the hands of artists and cheering on the good work of Ocean Alliance to reduce pollution, conserve the whales and their environment, and promote ocean and human health.