Pre-thinking:

Krause shows us that what we hear in the natural world is important for many reasons, but what we don’t hear might be truly alarming.

Why you should listen:

With a stellar electronic music resumé including work with The Byrds, Stevie Wonder and many others, Bernie Krause is assured a place in the pop culture canon. But Krause continues to make history by capturing the fading voices of nature: studying sonic interplay between species as they attract mates, hunt prey, and sound out their roles in the ecosystem.

Krause’s recordings are not merely travelogues or relaxation tools — they are critical barometers of global environmental health. His documents of vanishing aural habitats are a chilling reminder of shrinking biodiversity. As he tells the Guardian: “The fragile weave of natural sound is being torn apart by our seemingly boundless need to conquer the environment rather than to find a way to abide in consonance with it.”

Who is he:

Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes — the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae — for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe. A surprising look at what we can learn through nature’s symphonies, from the grunting of a sea anemone to the sad calls of a beaver in mourning.

Questions:

  1. Krause shows us that there are three important areas in a wild soundscape. These are the geophony, the biophony and the _______________ .
  1. According to Krause, the sounds made by humans are often described as ___________.
  1. The seemingly most harmless type of logging is selective cutting. Krause’s study of a California Meadow shows audio changes even after A) 10 years, B) 15years, C) 20 years, D) 20 years or E) 25 years.
  1. Krause defines his recordings as soundscape ecology. What does he mean by this?
  1. Krause says that over fifty %of his recording sites have been so altered by humans that meaningful recording cannot be done there at this time. What are the implications of this for the future?
  1. Krause’s story of the beaver gives strong indication of animal ____________ , something older biologists have difficulty believing.

The voice of the natural world with Bernie Krause

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