Bernie Krause- The voice of the natural world.

Are the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind, birds singing, and waves hitting the shore more than just pretty noises. Bernie Krause has been recording soundscapes for more than 45 years, and he certainly thinks so. In this TED talk, he explains why.
Three basic sources make up a soundscape. The geophony is non- biological sounds at any given time, such as the movement of the Earth. The bio phone is the sound generated by organisms, and the anthrophony is the rest, mostly noise, which is generated by humans.
Forty years ago, Krause could capture an hour of useable material, for a soundtrack or other project, in ten hours of recording. Now the same takes 1000 hours to achieve. Habitats have been so altered that they are almost unrecognisable. Krause has used his years of experience in sound recording for the good of the environment. In one such case, he captured a spectrogram before and after selective logging was started in an area. Looking at pictures of the area, hardly a tree seemed to be out of place, seemingly confirming the company’s assertions that there was limited environmental impact. But, our ears tell a different story.
Krause also plays a number of animal sounds to illustrate how animals express themselves. Possibly the saddest sound is that of a male beaver, crying out for the loss of his offspring.
Biophonies can aid our understanding of the natural world and draw us closer to our love of nature. As Krause points out, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then these soundscapes are worth 1000 pictures.


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