Bernie Krause: The voice of the natural world

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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.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Bernie! I read your book some years ago. Today I cried with Papa Beaver. Thank you for sharing your inbaluable perspective.

  2. I've only just today discovered that your work even exists. But I can already see the enormous value of this. I think what you are doing is not only wonderful – but vital, for our understanding of human impact upon the environment. Please. Keep up the good work.

  3. Humans are kunts and ALL need to be taken OFF the face of this planet!

    People don't deserve such a beautiful place to live

  4. I cried for the first time today after my father died in 2003. The sentence: "Fully 50% of my archive comes from habitats so radically altered that they are either altogether silent or could no longer be heard in any of their original form" moved me to tears!

  5. When I was a kid, a family of deer walked in front of the car in our neighborhood so we stopped. The deer walked by except for one baby. A sports car speeded through 30 miles over the speed limit and flipped the baby in the air! It landed and broke all 4 of it's knees. It tried to run on it's knees but it couldn't. We called the police who "took care of it"-whatever that means… During the impact, the mother deer made a sound ten times more sad than that beaver… That was the only time in my life I heard a deer make a noise… and it was a scream…

  6. Хроническая тугоухость – это диагноз.. впрочем, как и хронический эгоизм.. Chronic deafness is a diagnosis .. however, like chronic egoism ..

  7. There are a bunch of websites online with databases of audio bird calls. Here's one: http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/audiosource

    I remember hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts. Hiking for hours in the natural quiet. Then hearing a quail out of nowhere. Sound was piercing, powerful, incredible…

  8. that's such a deep talk reminding me a perspective that was ignored to understand the beautiful world I am so priviledged to live in. The talk is really underrated….

  9. Critical information/science in preserving our rural spaces . . . this work is so important to what's going on right in Bernie's backyard . . . I would love to see him present at some of the meetings I've attended where the supervisors and Fish and Game are making decisions about oyster farming, mono-culture and other critical decisions that will effect our Sonoma County landscape now and into the future . . . his story about the destroyed beaver dam was absolutely heart-wrenching . . .

  10. Thank you, Bernie. The call of the bereaved beaver was indeed heat-breaking.
    For me, the most poignant sound I ever heard was of rhino that had ben attacked and its horn removed with a machete.
    For days it had been suffering, and its cry haunts me still.
    Thank you.

  11. listening to Bernie Krause makes me very very sad since it shows me what we have lost in our human greed to expand, build, rule and dominate. Yet, it is the reality of our world. One day , people will flock to museums – or to internet web pages – to hear true nature's sounds. Mr. Krause is not only a nature lover but also a philosopher and ethnologist, who in his work elaborates on how we – in the industrialized countries – have lost the appreciation of the auditory sense, as visual perception dominates.
    Tragically, in 2017 a large amount of his archived material together with his equipment got lost in a wildfire in California.

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