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"Blindsight (feat. Quinn & Maxwell Bonnan)" - A song about echolocation!


Above, a sperm whale chases a giant squid in the animated music video for "Blindsight". Artwork by Stockton University art students Catherine Allen, Anita Brickley, and Michael Collins.


Download the song on my Bandcamp page: https://matthewbonnan.bandcamp.com/


Stream or download the song everywhere else: https://matthewbonnan.hearnow.com/


See the music video on my YouTube channel when it premieres Friday, May 5, at noon: https://youtu.be/6rqrEe0QDCQ


I am excited to announce the latest animated music video from Once Upon Deep Time called "Blindsight". This song's lyrics and melody were co-written with my son, Maxwell Bonnan, who is also featured on guitars. My daughter, Quinn Bonnan, is the featured vocalist on the song. The animated video was another successful partnership with Dr. Michael McGarvey and Stockton University art students, and I thank Catherine Allen, Anita Brickley, Michael Collins, Colleen Glynn, and Natalie Weisenstein for their artistic contributions to the animation.


Above, a Mexican free-tailed bat pursues a corn earnworm moth across the moonlit fields of Texas in the animated music video for "Blindsight". Artwork by Stockton University art students Catherine Allen, Colleen Glynn, and Natalie Weisenstein.


Meaning of the Song


You and I have three little bones in our middle ear, called auditory ossicles, that transfer the vibrations of sounds picked up by the eardrum into the gel of the inner ear to jiggle specialized nerve cells that respond to different sound frequencies. We mammals are the only tetrapods to have three middle ear bones (reptiles, birds, and frogs have just one), and they act to increase our sensitivity to higher-pitched sounds. Whales and dolphins as well as many bats independently evolved the ability to "see" using sound. These mammals create high-pitched noises that bounce off objects in their environment as echoes. Like the sonar pings of a submarine, whales, dolphins, and bats listen for these echoes to find prey in the darkness. Hence the title of the song, "Blindsight" - seeing in the darkness using sound. The song is divided into two little stories - one focuses on a giant squid being hunted by a sperm whale; the other follows a corn earnworm moth as it tries to escape being eaten by a Mexican free-tailed bat.


Lyrics


Lyrics (c) 2022 Matthew Bonnan & Maxwell Bonnan.


-- Giant Squid versus Sperm Whale --


Oh, a tentacled predator, down in the deep


I can sense that I’ve become prey


Though my eyes are huge, in the dark they strain


As rapid clicks keep c-c-c-comin’ through my brain



As the sound gets louder and more intense


I’ve got nowhere to hide, no defense


Intense sounds that make me reel


Whale teeth, the last thing I feel!



It’s echolocation, using sound to see


Blindsight when the light is missing


With loud clicks, you resolve the scene


And the predator becomes the prey



Three little bones from the jaw


Some mammals dialed up the higher frequencies


Sound was the spark to see in the dark


Echoes converging, blindsight emerging



-- Moth versus Bat --


On gossamer wings I traverse the night


Searching for mates and nectar


High pitched pulses all around … !



As those pulses keep getting closer


Our silhouettes tumble across the moon


Flapping wings, high-pitched pings


Bat teeth, the last thing I feel!



It’s echolocation, using sound to see


Blindsight when the light is missing


With rapid pulses you resolve the scene


And overtake your prey in the night



It’s blindsight!


It’s blindsight!


It’s blindsight!


It’s blindsight!



Learn More / External Links


Learn the fascinating details about the life of the giant squid: https://www.sciencefocus.com/nature/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-giant-squid/


The biology and conservation status of sperm whales, the predators of giant squid: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/sperm-whale



Learn more about bat conservation and see the inspiration for the Mexican free-tailed bat and corn earworm moth chase in "Blindsight": https://www.batcon.org/see-bats-live/visit-bracken-cave-preserve/


Find out more about bat echolocation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJOloliWvB8


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Matthew F. Bonnan, Ph.D.

Paleontologist | Professor | Author | Science Communicator | Singer/Songwriter

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