One of the most intense moments of my life was standing next to a stream meters away from a trampling hut on the Mt Pouakai crossing. We had walked all day and I just stopped; focused my senses and concentrated. I remember the sense of light rippling in the beeches, the gurgling stream, birdsong; the chill clean air. A magic moment, thirty years past. Mostly I remember the clarity of the sound.
The linked article is wonderful, a sound recordist and nature lover who records this magic. Please read the article and watch the video, and then go outside, take a deep breath and listen.
Kea Toa Kea Ngakaunui
‘Nature is music. I’m not asking you to get all theoretical here – I’m saying, just listen.’There are vanishingly few places left on land untouched by human-made sounds, and those quiet areas are shrinking every year. No one knows this better than the US sound recordist and acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, an Emmy award-winner who specialises in capturing the sounds of nature. At once a profile, a guided meditation and a call to action, Being Hear follows Hempton as he records sounds on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula – a National Park that contains the continental United States’ only rainforest. Combining Hempton’s measured words with striking scenes and sounds of the park’s lush vegetation, rippling waters and diverse animal life, the film suggests that ensuring that parts of nature remain untouched by human sound starts with us listening attentively and with intention.