Biophony: the soundscape created by nonhuman creatures.
Coined by Bernie Krause. Some of the things he’s discovered over decades of recording the natural world in the farthest flung spaces:
- animals find their own niches in the sound spectrum, for mating and communication
- mammals tend to be on the lower register, then birds, insects, all the way up to bats whom we often can’t hear
- human music may have arisen in concert* with the biophony, as researchers have discovered modern stone age tribes often create music in tandem with the natural orchestration going on around them
- these same tribes can navigate by biophony in darkness within rainforests, attuned acutely to how the natural sound cover morphs according to their position in the landscape
* wordplay intended 😉
Read this for (much) more.
Experience this . . . by listening to the NPR audio.
Can you ever hear natural sound the same way again? Why would you want to?
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