The voice of the natural world
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
- Wild Sanctuary (Bernie Krause’s website)
- Natural Sounds (US National Park Service)
- Soundscapes (British Library)
- Macaulay Library (Cornell)
- Acoustic Ecology Institute
- Sonic Research Studio and World Soundscape Project (Truax, Simon Fraser U)
- Listen to Africa – soundscapes that capture the human world