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Nature's Orcherstra

Bernie Krause at Schumacher College

by Beatrice Yannacopoulou

Our human story has been activated and nourished by the soundfull depths of the natural world. Without sound there would be no music or voice to stir the soul and transport the spirit, there would be no legend, no poetry or song. In a world that dominantly stimulates our senses of sight, this course is an invitation to remember how to listen deeply. From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others; And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm. Krause’s pioneering work recording, researching and archiving increasingly rare sounds of creatures and environments from around the world, not only creates a window to explore our musical and linguistic roots, but as nature’s wild voices are increasingly falling silent, it is also a call to action. Creating much needed acoustic baselines over decades, these recordings are critical barometers of global environmental health. It is with these points of aural reference that the full impact of habitat destruction and conservation efforts can be realized. With this course everyone can learn how to share Krause’s mission and actively participate in creating baselines and give the wild the opportunity to be heard from your backyard gardens, your local park and beyond.


Bernie Krause is the author of the pioneering book The Great Animal Orcherstra. He began his musical carrier as a member of the band The Weavers and has worked with The Byrds, Stevie Wonder, and many more.  But it is the wild places and the wild voices that he has dedicated most of his life to. Establishing The Wild Sanctuary in 1968 and travelling the globe to collect whole-habitat recordings and working at research sites of Jane Goodall (Gombe, Tanzania), Biruté Galdikas (Camp Leakey, Borneo), and Dian Fossey (Karisoke, Rwanda), he identified the concept of soundscape ecology. This is a study of the relationship between the biophony, geophony and anthrophony and how this fragile acoustic weave is being destroyed and what efforts must be made for us to learn how to live in harmony within nature’s wonderfully wildly diverse voices and sounds, and to continue to learn from them.


Beatrice Yannacopoulou is a environmental campaigner and writer based in Athens, Greece






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