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Birch Aquarium Event Brings Together Music And Sea Life

Above: Seahorses at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Aired 4/8/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Nigella Hillgarth, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Executive Director

Adam Tinkle, UCSD Music graduate student and ARTS instructor.

Transcript

Springfest

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Springfest event April 13, from 6-8 p.m.

For more info

The silent underwater world of the Birch Aquarium will vibrate with music Sunday. Music students from UC San Diego's grad school will perform a soundscape of experimental music, especially designed for the aquarium.

It's part of the Springfest event. This year, the sound performances range from otherworldly sounds from the musical saw to poetry and body percussion.

Nigella Hillgarth, executive director of the Birch Aquarium, spoke about the program to KPBS on Tuesday. She also talked about her pending departure to become president of Boston's New England Aquarium.

The Oxford-educated Hillgarth led the Birch Aquarium for a decade, and during that time the La Jolla facility rolled out a variety of interactive exhibits and saw attendance grow to nearly a half million visitors a year.

"The public is enormously interested in marine life," she said. "They care passionately about our oceans and they are fascinated by the living things in the ocean, and so the value of aquariums today I think is particularly important. It can plan an enormous role in connecting people to the environment."

The New England Aquarium attracts nearly three times as many visitors as the Birch Aquarium. Hillgarth said the opportunity to manage Boston's aquarium is one she could not pass up.

Video

Springfest at Birch Aquarium 2013

Above: Springfest at Birch Aquarium 2013

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