Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pollution everywhere - keeping pure soundscapes

So I finally got and read Bernie Krause's book, The Great Animal Orchestra. I can highly recommend it. Krause looks at sound in the natural world, both biological and geological. He shows how over the years, changes in the health of the biosphere are visible (or more to the point audible) in the natural soundscape. Selective logging of forests reduces population of bird species. Aircraft sounds can silence the call of animals, making a hole in their aural herding and seeing them eaten.Whales are beached by very loud noises in the oceans, disorienting them. The natural world's soundscape is changed in so many ways.

The sounds of nature are the origins of music, and we seem keyed into some sounds that calm us. As I write I am listening to the sound of the waves, to ease the burden of an open office plan. As an introvert and someone sensitive to external sounds, I felt calmer yesterday and was more productive than when I used Coffivity and its human white noise.

Like pollution that spoils our water, warms our planet or drowns out the night sky with too much life, sound pollution drowns out the natural sounds we developed with. Many people are noise stressed by the sounds of modern life, noisy cars, industry, our digital devices and so on. As we insulate ourselves further from the world around us, it is hard to see how we can preserve it.

One of the fondest noises from my childhood is the warble of magpies and screech of galahs. The sounds of nature have a big place in my life. May there always be places of solitude to listen to the earth and her hymn of praise to the God who made and shapes her.

No comments:

Post a Comment