Earth is a Solar Powered Juke Box
The sounds you are hearing are from Olympic National Park, near where I live in the rugged Northwest corner of Washington State, one of a handful of places left in America, or the world for that matter, where we can still listen to nature unspoiled by noise pollution.
I am acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. I care very deeply about quiet. As the Sound Tracker® I have circled the globe three times over the last 30 years in pursuit of Earth’s rarest nature sounds—sounds which can only be fully appreciated in the absence of manmade noise.
My recordings of steadily vanishing natural soundscapes have been written about and reviewed in People, Time, Newsweek, and many more American and international magazines. My work has enriched numerous television documentaries including the PBS documentary Vanishing Dawn Chorus, which earned me an Emmy. I provide professional audio services to such media outlets as Microsoft, Smithsonian, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Recently, following a cross country listening tour of America, I wrote One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest to Preserve Quiet, (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2010) with co-author and now close friend, John Grossmann. Our book underscores the urgent need to protect our few remaining silent havens from noise pollution and seeks recognition for a symbolic and telescopically functional one square inch of silence in the sonically magnificent Hoh Valley in Washington’s Olympic National Park. One Square Inch of Silence was released the same year as the documentary film, Soundtracker, directed and produced by Nick Sherman. Together, these two major works have transformed my life from nature listener to nature spokesperson. I travel widely to speak about what the Earth is telling us—if only we listen.
The Sound Tracker®