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The World's Disappearing Natural Sound48:33
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With guest host Jane Clayson.

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings from around the world. We’ll listen in.

Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite National Park. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. In the past, Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of Yosemite National Park after it was destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below. (National Park Service/Wikimedia)
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite National Park. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. In the past, Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of Yosemite National Park after it was destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below. (National Park Service/Wikimedia)

Every season has a soundtrack. For summer, it’s crashing waves, claps of thunder, seagulls, and buzzing bees. Pesky mosquitos. Rolling streams. Falling rain. Legendary sound collector Bernie Krause has spent decades capturing the sounds of nature around the world. Listening tours that have taken him to Costa Rica, the Arctic, Fiji. To Yosemite, the Amazon, Alaska. We’ll delve into his vast audio library. This hour, On Point: listening to nature’s music.
-- Jane Clayson

Guest

Bernie Krause, naturalist, composer, author of "Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes." (@BernieKrause)

From the Reading List

TED: The voice of the natural world — "I had no idea that ants, insect larvae, sea anemones and viruses created a sound signature. But they do. And so does every wild habitat on the planet, like the Amazon rainforest you're hearing behind me. In fact, temperate and tropical rainforests each produce a vibrant animal orchestra, that instantaneous and organized expressionof insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. And every soundscape that springs from a wild habitat generates its own unique signature, one that contains incredible amounts of information."

Vox: Four recordings that prove you can hear environmental change as well as see it — "Not only can you see how an ecosystem changes over time, but you can hear it, too. Bernie Krause describes his decades-long quest to record remote landscapes around the world. For him, these animal recordings are an audio argument for conservation."

Boston Globe: When nature goes silent — "The work of taking and analyzing these recordings occurs in an area of study known as ecoacoustics. It’s a unique kind of discipline, with elements of both art and science, and it’s this combination that drew Bernie Krause to the work nearly 50 years ago. In the late 1960s, he was a professional musician working on an album called “In a Wild Sanctuary” that combined natural soundscapes with instrumentation. In the process of recording those soundscapes, Krause realized he was in the wrong line of work."

Read an Excerpt from "Voices of the Wild"

Listen To Some Natural Sound

All sounds courtesy Bernie Krause

This program aired on August 28, 2015.

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