Bioacoustics: Recording the Wild

What is an acoustic ecologist? Well, if the video didn’t explain it clearly enough, they are sound recording technologists that take raw recordings of wilderness “soundscapes.” The use for such recordings spans from scientific analysis to educational and public appreciation of the places they record. As Tim mentioned in the last post, pure natural soundscapes (unaffected by some sort of technological ambience) are becoming far more rare in the modern age; and this may be one of the most important things that acoustic ecologists can tell us.

The “biophony,” as leading bioacoustician, Bernie Krause, puts it, is the natural orchestra that can be heard when we truly listen in a natural environment. It is the same music that has been heard since the very beginning of life on this planet, and thus, transcends our very pompous view of history. It is much more in tune with the universal idea of power in the present moment. Often, I speak of connectivity in music and art and this is another way it can be explored. Once, my high school history teacher, trying to instill a realist philosophy in his students, challenged the class to present evidence of how we are actually all equal. The obvious and most liberating answer to such a question is in our relationship to our natural surroundings. While darwinism is synonymous with truth for those concerned with materialism, the soundscape reminds us that although competition is a reality in nature, everything sits in its own range, working with all other facets of life to create a harmony of death and birth. Often, those involved in soundscape recording have philosophies or outlooks that suggest spiritual underpinnings (aside from sectarian notions of religion or nationality) and it is no wonder why.