Creative inspirations from the census

The Census isn't all about science. Artists and Musicians also joined in to share their love of the underwater realm...
13 October 2010

Interview with 

Jesse Ausabel, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Rockerfeller University


Look to the sea


As well as all the scientific endevours of the Census of Marine Life, artists and musicians also got involved and shared their love of the seas.

Census co-founder, Jesse Ausabel, tells us about the creative side of the program and we hear an excerpt of Look to the Sea - a song composed and recorded especially for the Census by singer/composer Maryann Camilleri, musician Jerry Harrison (formerly of the Talking Heads), and engineer David Dennison. The accompanying video is by produced by National Geographic Television/Digital Studio.

Still from Look to the sea

Find out more:

Listen to and download
Look to the Sea for free.

Maryann Camilleri

Census of Marine Life and the arts


Jesse - This is another funny thing that happened. About 2 years ago we were having a meeting in California in the Monterey Bay area. And an acoustician who used to work for me but now works in Berkley California said "Oh I have some friends who are musicians but they love marine life so is it alright if they down to the meeting in Monterey?" 

So I said "Sure, bring them along." They turned out to be musicians from the Grateful Dead music scene. And they loved all the fish that they met. One of them, a woman named Maryann Camilleri said "Can I write a song about it?", so I said of course you can write a song about it.

So she wrote a wonderful song which has been recorded at the Grateful Dead recording studio with lead keyboard by Jerry Harrison, form the band Talking Heads. You're a bit young so you may only be into Belle and Sebastian or newer people. It would have been great to get Radiohead or Greenday. I'm older so I though getting Talking Heads and the Grateful Dead was just great. 

So we have this wonderful song, music video, really good song Look to the Sea, which you can download for free, you don't even have to pay in the US 99 cents for the mp3

And artists donated pennants, and made sculptures and paintings. All this stuff just sort of happened. And I think it's because marine life is beautiful. I think beauty was the attractor.


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