About Gordon Hempton

“Gordon Hempton, the Sound Tracker. An acoustic ecologist who’s spent the last four decades seeking out natural vanishing soundscapes around the world, he’s on a mission to save silence. Hempton spoke to Newsweek about his life’s work to preserve the world’s last quiet places.”

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Gordon Hempton The Sound Tracker® 2012
Gordon in Jungle
Gordon Hempton on location The Sound tracker®

The Solar Jukebox

I live near Olympic National Park in the rugged northwest corner of Washington State, quiet enough to be a recording studio–and it is. In the photo to the left I am recording Nature’s Largest Violin. I’ve positioned my microphone system that replicates 3-D human hearing inside a giant Sitka spruce log. This tree grew in the nearby rain forest and then floated down the Bogachiel River before coming to a rest (temporarily) at Rialto Beach. The wood of this tree species has special properties that make it ideal for crafting violins, guitars, and other acoustic instruments because the wood produces a sound when exposed to the slightest vibration. But here, instead of a bow drawn across violin strings, the sound of distant surf is powerful enough to cause this Sitka log to produce its own deep, harmonic concert.

One Square Inch of Silence book cover

The Book

One Square Inch of Silence
“Many books help us see the world differently; this one induces us to hear the world clearly.”
Booklist, Starred ReviewRead Now
The Sound Tracker® film movie cover artwork

The Film

Soundtracker
“This is a remarkable journey: a quest for imperiled Nature an artist who never stopped listening.”
Ken BurnsWatch Now

One Square Inch Of Silence

This sound is impossible to adequately describe but easily heard. 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 35 years in pursuit of Earth’s rarest nature sounds—sounds which can only be fully appreciated in the absence of manmade noise. I hope that you will linger awhile on my website and enjoy the sonic wonders of our planet, and then join me in defending the live concert by visiting One Square Inch of Silence.

Gordon Hempton Tree