Voices of the Wild
Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes
August 25, 2015
184 pages, 5 x 7
12 b/w illus.
Since 1968, Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording the sounds of remote landscapes, endangered habitats, and rare animal species. Through his organization, Wild Sanctuary, he has collected the soundscapes of more than 2,000 different habitat types, marine and terrestrial. With powerful illustrations and compelling stories, Krause provides a manifesto for the appreciation and protection of natural soundscapes. In his previous book, The Great Animal Orchestra, Krause drew readers’ attention to what Jane Goodall described as “the harmonies of nature . . . [that are being] one by one by one, snuffed out by human actions.” He now explains that the secrets hidden in the natural world’s shrinking sonic environment must be preserved, not only for our scientific understanding, but for our cultural heritage and humanity’s physical and spiritual welfare.
Krause’s narrative—supplemented by exclusive access to field recordings from the wild—draws on a compelling range of personal anecdotes, histories, and examples to document his early exploration of this field and to lay the groundwork for future generations.
"If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a sound recording worth? Perhaps much more. . . . We say we want peace and quiet, but Bernie knows better. What we really want is something worth listening to. There is plenty of it out there. Nobody knows how to find it better than Bernie Krause."—Jean Michel Cousteau, on The Great Animal Orchestra
Listen to the sound examples from Voices of the Wild
Sound 1: Weddell seals, Antarctic, by Doug Quin
Sound 2: Bearded seals, Alaska, by Martyn Stewart
Sound 3: Lincoln Meadow, June 1988, biophony before selective logging
Sound 4: Lincoln Meadow, June 1989, biophony after selective logging
Sound 5: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, 1989, before clear cutting
Sound 6: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, 1996, after clear cutting
Sound 7: Integrated Habitats by David Monacchi
Sound 8: Corkscrew Swamp, Naples, Florida
Sound 9: Crescent Meadow, Sequoia National Park
Sound 10: Sugarloaf State Park, Kenwood, California, April 2004, 2009, and 2014
Sound 11: Wyoming toad, recording by Martyn Stewart