Making Music With The Wild Things with Paul Winter

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A pioneer of integrating animal calls and instrumental music, Paul Winter combines environmental sensitivity and artistic freedom with exquisite ingenuity and skill. This conversation is richly enlivened with samples of the music for which he is known, an astounding variety of new pieces he has collected from around the world, and first-hand stories of the creative adventures behind the compositions. We hear of his afternoon on a ridge in the northern Rocky Mountains, his experience kayaking with a saxophone among whales in British Columbia, and some surprise moments recorded in the wild and in Spain. "We're aspiring," he says, "toward music that will celebrate the cultures and creatures of the Earth." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Paul Winter is an American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. He is a pioneer of world music and "earth music", which interweaves the voices of the wild with instrumental voices from classical, jazz and world music, and is a seven-time Grammy Award winner. He produces free streaming concerts each year on the equinoxes and the solstices. Our New Dimensions theme music, "Icarus," is performed by the Paul Winter Consort.


Paul Winter’s albums include:

  • Common Ground (1989)
  • Wolf Eyes: Retrospective (1989)
  • Callings (1989)
  • Earth: Voices of the Planet (1990)
  • Spanish Angel (1993)
  • Prayer for the Wild Things (1994)
  • Missa Gaia/Earth Mass (1994)
  • Canyon Lullaby (1998)
  • Miho: Journey to the Mountain (2010)
  • Light of the Sun (2020) 

To learn more about Paul Winter go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • The philosophy and purpose behind his music
  • Using music as a travel memento, instead of photos or souvenirs
  • The story of kayaking with a saxophone and orcas in British Columbia
  • The "Bel Canto" recordings of humpback whale songs in the '60s
  • The first time he encountered whales
  • How it feels to be approached by a whale
  • His journey in Spain and current musical developments there
  • Information about elephant voices and the ivory situation
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 4/17/1994       Program Number: 2458