The Great Animal Orchestra
Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places
This work is the story of one man's pursuit of natural music in its purest form, and an impassioned case for the conservation of one of our most overlooked natural resources: the music of the wild. The author is the world's leading expert in natural sound. He has spent the last 40 years recording ecological soundscapes and has archived the sounds of over 15,000 species, half of the wild soundscapes he has on tape do not exist anymore because of human actions. He divides natural sound into three categories. Biophony is the sound made by animals and plants, like the shrimp that makes noises underwater equivalent to 165 decibels; geophony is natural sound, like wind, water and rain, which led different tribes to have different musical scales; and anthrophony is human generated sound which affects animals as it changes, for example causing disoriented whales to become beached. In this book he invites us to listen through his ears to all three as he showcases singing trees, contrasting coasts, and the roar of the modern world. He paints a picture of the relationship and connection between natural sounds and music that is becoming increasingly difficult to hear. Just as streetlights engulf the stars, he argues that human noise is drowning out the sounds of nature, but that our focus on the visual today is blinding us to this. This book shows why it is critical to preserve what remaining soundscapes we have, and will make you hear the world entirely differently.
New York : Little, Brown, 2012.
278 p. ;,25 cm.