Bernie Krause shares his recordings of wild soundscapes, including the happiest – and saddest – sounds he encountered:
A companion piece notes the usefulness of Krause’s work for determining the extent of our encroachment on nature:
Krause’s wild soundscapes give us an often-overlooked diagnostic tool to measure the health of a habitat — sound. And the difficulty of recording natural soundscapes speaks to the devastating changes happening in many ecosystems because of global warming, resource extraction and human noise. In [this talk], given at TEDGlobal 2013, Krause shares the extent of damage that he can hear in recordings taken from different points in his 45-year career.
“Every soundscape that springs from a wild habitat generates its own unique signature, one that contains incredible amounts of information,” says Krause. “When I began recording, over four decades ago, I could record for 10 hours and capture one hour of usable material … Fully 50% of my archive comes from habitats so radically altered that they are altogether silent or can no longer be heard in their original form.”