A Brisbane cellist is turning to our oceans to find new inspirations from the deep.

He’s calling on some unusual performers for his music.

Joseph Ogilvie reports.


Rob Knaggs is a principle cellist… and his marine musos are endangered.

But they don’t play instruments … Because they’re humpback and beluga whales.

Rob’s trying to change the fate of these mammals… and it’s taking him around the world.

Rob Knaggs, Cellist: “So when I moved to Canada a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to play cello to Beluga whales, so now I’ve come home and I’ve been able to play for humpback whales with the spirit of gold coast whale watching”

He wants whale watchers to feel like they’re under water listening to the calls of humpbacks.

Rob Knaggs, Cellist: “watching people actually connect with what’s going on and listening to whales vocalise along with the cello, it’s just been fantastic”

He uses water proof microphones to capture these sounds.

Rob Knaggs, Cellist: “I’m able to replicate the sounds of the humpbacks themselves”

He’s compiling all of his work into a twenty two minute album… inspired by his time near the arctic circle. And he’s found other rare friends.

Rob Knaggs, Cellist: “I’ve also been able to see these polar bears coming back on the ice looking a lot skinnier than they were previously”

There’s an element of novelty too this project but he’s partnering with Sea Shepherd, hoping by raising awareness and increasing the appreciation of whales he can help protect them.

Joseph Ogilvie, QUT News.