A short but wonderful video from Yosemite National Park on the experience of soundscapes and their value. As part of the park’s Yosemite Nature Notes ( Episode 29 ), park ranger Karyn O’Hearn and bio-acoustician Dr. Bernie Krause help us and other park visitors begin to hear again. It’s not silence you hear in nature, it’s a symphony of sound, and part of listening is understanding and identifying those sounds.
Every time i turn on my recorder and go into the field, it doesn’t matter what the habitat is I discover something new… It’s all magical and informative and engaging and life affirming, and it gives us a sense of connection to our living world. Every study that’s been done indicates that even when we are unconscious of it, even when we deny it, that the stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure are elevated when we are in the presence of noise.
– Dr. Bernie Krause
I particularly loved the distinction between the sources of sound and the definition of noise. Anthropophony is human made sounds, some we control and others we do not, and that is noise. These are the sounds that often grate on use and wear us down. It’s a nice explanation of why i found soundscapes such a fascinating source of material.
The idea that the soundscape is worth protecting is really a new idea in the park service and how do we do that?… Whats does the soundscape sound like in a healthy Yosemite landscape.
It’s important that visitors have an experance of the soundscape and so it’s great that we are making efforts to protect that experience, thats very valuable to the visitor event though they might not be thinking about it. But if they came and didn’t hear the bird songs, didn’t hear the squirrels, didn’t hear the water, there would be something missing.
– Karyn O’Hearn