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The voice of the natural world

July 26, 2013
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krauseBookI love the world of sound – bird song, thunderstorms, wind in the trees, waves on the beach, and music. I enjoy the times when I can sit outside and not hear the noise of traffic.

When I was first developing an audio project for my multimedia class, one activity that caught my ear was a soundscape, an audio portrait of a place and time. I read, listened and became fascinated by the world of acoustic ecology and the work of people who record nature soundscapes. I decided that this kind of work was too exacting and time-consuming for a rookie sound editor, but an urban soundscape could be a great project for a course in sociology or anthropology.

The work of people like Bernie Krause , R. Murray Schafer, and Barry Truax is not unlike that of a nature photographer, except that it’s harder to find places where human sounds don’t intrude. It feels a little strange to say this after yesterday’s post, but I am saddened by the thought that few places on Earth remain unaffected by the sound of technology. I can’t see how to eliminate it, but I hope we soon begin working earnestly to reduce unnecessary noise.

Learn more about soundscapes

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