Bernie Krause in 1971 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, during the Beaver & Krause Gandharva Warner Brothers recording session.
Bernie Krause is both a musician and naturalist; a visionary in both disciplines. Since 1968, Dr. Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording and archiving the sounds of creatures and environments large and small. “The soundscape defines the acoustic environment in which we live. It includes all of the signals that reach the ear of any living organism at any one time…There was a time when our culture dismissed wild soundscapes as being worthless artifacts. They were just there. But they had no significance. We were wrong…Wild soundscapes, the voices of the natural world, provide remarkable new perspectives through which to connect with the living planet.” Bernie Krause
This month’s B&W Society of Sound release showcases the extraordinary power of the sound of the natural world, with extracts from three dawn choruses from three locations in Zimbabwe, Brazil and New Mexico. Environmental damage means these are threatened with bioacoustic transformation so radical that unless their current ecological trajectories are soon mitigated, they will become altogether silent or so significantly altered that their collective signatures – the biophonies – will no longer be recognisable. Bernie Krause’s recordings are a unique document of a disappearing natural world.