Scuba-diving Elvis imitators are scheduled to "perform" with a mermaid back-up singer during the quirky annual Underwater Music Festival, set for Saturday in the Keys.
As many as 600 divers and snorkelers are expected to participate in the sub-sea songfest at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary six miles south of Big Pine Key. Music is broadcast underwater via speakers suspended beneath boats positioned at the reef. Here’s a sampling from last year’s festival and coordinator Bill Becker explaining how he makes the picks.
(Music of the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden")
“I try to pick out the music that I think goes well with an underwater experience where you can snorkel and dive along and listen to music that either has a water theme or sounds really good underwater. It’s hard to tell what the fish think. I think they enjoy it. They seem to move with the music.”
The festival is designed to showcase the marine life that characterizes North America's only living contiguous coral barrier reef. The eccentric annual concert carries a serious message promoting preservation of the Florida Keys' unique coral reef ecosystem. The musical broadcast incorporates diver awareness announcements offering tips on how people can enjoy the ocean while minimizing the impact on the reef.
(Sound collected by Andy Newman)
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 01:00