London Aquarium fish choir with ‘vocal range like Mariah Carey’ sing Jingle Bells for Christmas

By Danielle Manning
December 24 2019, 08.40

Sounds from an orchestra of previously unheard fish have been mixed as Jingle Bells in an unusual collaboration between Abbey Road Studios and the London Aquarium.

The track includes clicks, hoots and growls from Clownfish and other aquatic species, recorded entirely underwater using ‘hyrodophones’ in a first for the field of bioacoustics.

Abbey Road Studios sound engineer Andrew Walker said: “I never imagined having spent 30 years mastering music at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios that I would be remastering the hidden orchestra of fish sounds into a festive Jingle Bells track.”

LISTEN HERE: Jingle Bells by The Fish Choir

Professor Steve Simpson, who worked on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, has spent his career researching underwater soundscapes.

He said: “It was really exciting to step behind the scenes of the famous London Aquarium to capture the hidden soundscape of life within its exhibits.

MERRY FISHMAS: Hydrophone records Clownfish vocalisations

“What we discovered is truly fascinating and highlights how fish are using sound to communicate to one another in an aquarium environment just like in more natural habitats.

“I’m passionate about understanding how fish communicate and interact with their environment.

LISTEN HERE: Fish Orchestra Soundscsape

“There are many reasons fish make noise, including defending territories, warning against predators and during courtship.

“The more we listen the more we discover and I’m really happy to be working with London Aquarium and Abbey Road Studios to educate more people about these amazing underwater soundscapes.”

James Wright, Displays Curator at the London Aquarium, said: “The fish sounds captured are incredible!

“No-one expected to hear a school of clownfish croak or a crayfish hoot like a trumpet – it’s truly amazing.

“Sound plays an important role in the health of our oceans and we were curious to find out how the diverse fish species at London Aquarium use language to communicate with one another or at the very least find a fish that had a vocal range like Mariah Carey in time for Christmas.”

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