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Nature & Environment

Silence is spreading over the natural world

By T.K. Randall
September 4, 2012 · Comment icon 26 comments

Image Credit: CC 2.0 mjwinoz
As habitats are lost and species die out around the world, so too do the sounds of nature.
Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause has spent over four decades recording sounds in some of the most diverse natural environments on the planet. Using his microphones Krause has recorded over 4,500 hours of audio of more than 15,000 species. But there is an encroaching silence in places where once these harmonies existed - as habitats die out the sounds die with them and the only trace of the creatures that once lived there are their sounds recorded on his tapes.

"A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening," wrote Krause in his new book 'The Great Animal Orchestra'. "Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened." [!gad]Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause has spent over four decades recording sounds in some of the most diverse natural environments on the planet. Using his microphones Krause has recorded over 4,500 hours of audio of more than 15,000 species. But there is an encroaching silence in places where once these harmonies existed - as habitats die out the sounds die with them and the only trace of the creatures that once lived there are their sounds recorded on his tapes.

"A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening," wrote Krause in his new book 'The Great Animal Orchestra'. "Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened."
When musician and naturalist Bernie Krause drops his microphones into the pristine coral reef waters of Fiji, he picks up a raucous mix of sighs, beats, glissandos, cries, groans, tones, grunts, beats and clicks.


Source: Guardian Unlimited | Comments (26)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by rashore 12 years ago
Too many places are getting quieter, and that is truly sad. We have the good blessings that where we live now is very alive. Most people visiting us for the first time expecting the peaceful quiet of the boonies are usually surprised at how noisy it is here.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Xetan 12 years ago
What will man do when we only hear the sounds of each other. What do you mean when? I hear it all the time and it's driving me batty! I can't get anyone to shut up!
Comment icon #19 Posted by Mercury2K 12 years ago
sadly the gap is being replaced by headphones and repetitive pop music
Comment icon #20 Posted by 12 years ago
Silence is the sound of DOOM !! We are already past the point of 50% biodiversity loss which will send the whole system into terminal decline. As far as I can see its just ticking the days of the calender at this point. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #21 Posted by Mantis914 12 years ago
When you go outside and don't even hear birds singing any more, yeah, that's a scary feeling. I experienced that recently after cutting the yard in this lovely 108 degree weather that we've been having. I stopped the lawn mower once finished and there wasn't a single sound outdoors, well, maybe a distant cicada but that's about the only thing enjoying this weather: mosquitoes and cicadas.
Comment icon #22 Posted by zenfahr 12 years ago
What will man do when we only hear the sounds of each other. unfortunatly, it seems the only sounds we hear from each other is the sound on one man trying to sell something to the other. We are blind as well as deaf.
Comment icon #23 Posted by thewild 12 years ago
I live in the middle of town now, grew up in the country. However a pair of great horned owls moved in to the treed lot next door and they are singing away every night! Plus the college kids moved out so I can hear nature again here..
Comment icon #24 Posted by serial slasher 12 years ago
where i live theres heaps of different kinds of birds, which i like but there one bird that sings non stop every night like clockwork. also on a side note its magpie season and its F-ING HILARIOUS watching people getting swooped.
Comment icon #25 Posted by karmakazi 12 years ago
Animals don't just give up if their food source is depleted... they migrate or take on a different food source. Maybe if the species that sustain larger predators become sparse enough, we'll end up being their prey. Hmm. Maybe lions, bears, wolves, and the like should be what we're thinking about instead of zombies
Comment icon #26 Posted by jaguarsky 12 years ago
Rachel Carson anyone?


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