Episode 44 - Do Not Disturb

Bernie Krause joins us to help illuminate the complexity of natural soundscapes, and the threats to their stability.

The world is waking up to the negative health consequences of noise pollution. The WHO recognizes noise as a health crisis, and the number of places around the world not devastated by human noise is rapidly depleting. But the problems posed by our traffic noise, our airplane noise, and other anthropogenic intrusions go much deeper than the long list of human health effects like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, mental health problems, and increased general mortality. The natural world organizes itself in large part through sound. Our noise disrupts these delicate systems, breaks down ecosystems, and drives species into confusion, disarray, and death.

Can we relearn how to listen before it's too late?

Full transcript available

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  • 06:22 Bernie Krause
  • 08:56 Components of a Soundscape
  • 11:29 Niche Hypothesis
  • 13:02 What are ways animals vocalize to survive?
  • 14:52 The sound of habitat destruction
  • 24:41 Beauty of marine environments
  • 29:21 Cultural pathology and inattention
  • 30:52 Difference between organized and chaotic sound
  • 48:50 Loudness wars against our health
  • 52:58 Human health consequences of sound
  • 58:55 Animal health consequences of sound
  • 1:08:08 Going forward

Guest from the Show: Bernie Krause

Bernie Krause is a musician, author, and founding father of the science of soundscape ecology. As a musician, he helped pioneer electronic music in the 60s. He introduced the synthesizer to countless bands and musicians, and adapted the synth for film scores and other projects. It was in the late 60s that he discovered the joy of listening to and recording wild natural soundscapes, which launched him into the field of soundscape ecology. Through his work recording, preserving, and analyzing the sounds of natural soundscapes, Bernie Krause has helped reveal new understandings of the natural world, and introduced new words and concepts into the lexicon. To learn more about his work, you might start with his 2014 talk on the TED Global stage, visit his website at wildsanctuary.com, and read one of his many books on the subject.

Recommended (listening)

Special Credits

Thank you Gnome Chumpskey and E Jolly for their recordings


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Published 04-10-2018 00:32