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Published: 29 July 2022

By Andy Ross

Giraffe Humming

For many years it was folk belief that giraffes were almost dumb, unable to make any sound except grunts and snorts, despite having the mechanisms to do so. 

It was only in 2015 that science revealed that the beasts do indeed make a sound. Giraffes hum at night, possibly to maintain contact with others in a herd. Listen to the video below to hear the extraordinary and rather wonderful sound. 

This fact is just one of the things that make these creatures so fascinating and they have been a source of wonder for centuries. In the year 1414, three giraffes were sent from Malindi to Bengal, and one made it to China from there. The story caught the imagination of Ari Sitas and a project to tell that story began. It has brought together music and performance from across the regions that the animal travelled through and in October the performance of Giraffe Humming will be streamed twice, once on the 30th and again on the 31st. To watch on the 30th of  October, click here; to see it on the 31st, click here

Here is an article - a conversation with Ari Sitas - that teases out a little of the story that will be told in the performance and explains some of the thinking that has gone into this project.  There is also a live event in August: the launch of an album soundscape that links the locations to which the giraffe travelled in the 15th Century. If any readers out there would like to join that please send an email so that the link can be emailed to you.