Bernie Krause 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 don't exist anymore because of human actions. Krause 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 The Great Animal Orchestra 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. Just as streetlights engulf the stars, Krause argues that human noise is drowning out the sounds of nature, but that our focus on the visual today is blinding us to this. The Great Animal Orchestra shows why it is critical to preserve what remaining soundscapes we have, and will make you hear the world entirely differently.
Dr Bernie Krause is a musician and naturalist. He has traveled the world recording the sounds of creatures and environments large and small, enabling thousands of people to hear the sounds of the remotest parts of the world. He has worked with, among others, Sir George Martin, George Harrison, and, on the cult film Performance, Mick Jagger. He lives in California.
"Extraordinary and important"
"Krause is David Attenborough without the pictures [...] Remarkable"
- Norman Lebrecht
"One of those books you are grateful you have read."