Wild Soundscapes


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Discovering the Voice of the Natural World
Revised Edition

Bernie Krause; Foreword by Roger Payne

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A founder of soundscape ecology offers a pioneering field guide for listening to and recording the sounds of the wild

Through his organization Wild Sanctuary, Bernie Krause has traveled the globe to hear and record the sounds of diverse natural habitats. Wild Soundscapes, first published in 2002, inspires readers to follow in Krause’s footsteps. The book enchantingly shows how to find creature symphonies (or, as Krause calls them, “biophonies”); use simple microphones to hear more; and record, mix, and create new expressions with the gathered sounds. After reading this book, readers will feel compelled to investigate a wide range of habitats and animal sounds, from the conversations of birds and howling sand dunes to singing anthills.
This rewritten and updated edition explains the newest technological advances and research, encouraging readers to understand the earth’s soundscapes in ways previously unimaginable. With links to the sounds that are discussed in the text, this accessible and engaging guide to natural soundscapes will captivate amateur naturalists, field recordists, musicians, and anyone else who wants to fully appreciate the sounds of our natural world. 

Bernie Krause is a soundscape ecologist, musician, and author. He and the British composer Richard Blackford collaborated on The Great Animal Orchestra: Symphony for Orchestra and Wild Soundscapes, and composed the score for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet ensemble's Biophony. He lives in Glen Ellen, CA.

“Bernie Krause hears things the rest of us don’t even realize we’re missing. But if we listen carefully, starting with him, we just might resurrect some sweet sounds we’ve lost.”—Alan Weisman, author of Countdown and The World Without Us, on Voices of the Wild

“Here’s a handbook and philosophical guide for anyone, young or old, who wishes to open their senses to an often forgotten dimension of the reality around us: the sounds of the natural world—the sounds that are more than audio vibrations, but doorways into other worlds.”Richard Louv, author of Vitamin N, Last Child in the Woods, and The Nature Principle

“Part fascinating meditation on sound, part essential manual, Bernie Krause’s Wild Soundscapes is the veritable bible for how to record nature’s fleeting song—not just technically, but reverently.”—Alan Weisman, author of Countdown and The World Without Us
ISBN: 9780300218190
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
240 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
15 b/w illus.

Listen to the sound examples from Wild Soundscapes

Sound example 1. Biophony in primary, old-growth forest, Camp Leakey, Borneo

Sound example 2. Biophony in secondary-growth habitat, Pic Paradis, Saint Martin, Virgin Islands

Sound example 3. Spadefoot toad chorus with synchronicity intact, Mono Lake, California

Sound example 4. Spadefoot toad chorus interrupted by a military jet flyover

Sound example 5. Kilometer 41, Amazon Basin, with biophony intact

Sound example 6. Kilometer 41, biophony disrupted by a jet flyover

Sound example 7. Humpback whale feeding sounds

Sound example 8. Biophony of a muskeg, or bog, Chichagof Island, southeastern Alaska, with western flycatcher

Sound example 9. Rain, Chichagof Island, southeastern Alaska, with western flycatcher

Sound example 10. Barnacles twisting in their shells

Sound example 11. Cricket stridulation, and cactus wren alarm call

Sound example 12. Sea anemones

Sound example 13. Singing ants

Sound example 14. Singing sand dunes, Kelso Dunes, California

Sound example 15. Fish

Sound example 16. Snapping shrimp

Sound example 17. Biophony at the shore of Mono Lake in California. The primary calling bird is a killdeer.

Sound example 18. Biophony at Corkscrew Swamp, Florida, mostly frogs

Sound example 19. Biophony from Rio Doce dry tropical rainforest, Brazil, primarily frogs

Sound example 20. Baboon calls echoing off kopjes, South Africa

Sound example 21. Jaguar growling, Amazon Basin

Sound example 22. Crabs releasing themselves and dropping into the water, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. The biophony is mixed with insects, frogs, and a few distant birds.

Voices of the Wild

Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes

Bernie Krause

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