Ben Mirin is a sound artist, educator, National Geographic Explorer, television host and keynote speaker. He is known for his work as DJ Ecotone, a composer who travels the world recording animal sounds to create music that inspires conservation.
Ben is the creator and host of the digital and television series WILD BEATS on National Geographic Kids and Nat Geo Wild, a Fellow at The Safina Center, and a National Geographic Explorer. He is an acoustic researcher and creative partner with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the former Artist in Residence at the Bronx Zoo. You can watch his official TED talk below.
The Story Of A wildlife DJ
Ben was born addicted to bird-watching. His mother gave him a book on penguins at age three and he memorized the twenty-two species by their photographs before he learned to read. What followed was a childhood spent in national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature education programs fostering a love of nature and animals in particular, with birds as a gateway drug.
But when Ben moved to Brooklyn a couple years after graduating college, he found it difficult to hear bird song over the traffic. After a year in the City, he started combining his passions by creating music from bird song and his own voice, and within six months he was hosting a TV show for Nat Geo Kids and planning an expedition to India. Now a full time Wildlife DJ, Ben leads expeditions to record and catalog acoustic data from the planet's most endangered ecosystems, and works with musicians, scientists, and documentarians to engage new audiences in conservation.
Ben's work has been recognized with multiple grants from the National Geographic Society and previous art residencies at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore and the Lurie Garden at the Chicago Art Institute. His science writing has appeared in Slate.com, Smithsonian Magazine, Scientific American Online, Audubon Magazine Online, and other publications. He still lives in Brooklyn, NY, and performs regularly at venues throughout the five boroughs.