Take a walk in the woods and you’ll almost certainly be soothed by birdsong and trilling streams and wind whispering in treetops. But when you get home, you’ll likely be asked: What did you see?
Each animal occupies a unique frequency bandwidth, fitting into available auditory space like pieces in an exquisitely precise puzzle. It’s a simple but striking phenomenon
“The biophony is the pure expression of life, of the given organisms in a habitat,” he says. “When you’re in a healthy habitat, all the species are able to find bandwidth where their voices fit.”
The traditional approach of bioacoustics, focusing on single animals and species, is anathema. It’s “decontextualizing and fragmenting,” he says, like trying to extract a single violin from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. “Take an instrument out of the performance, and try to understand the whole performance, and you don’t get very much,” he says.
This article was originally published in Nautilus' “Feedback” issue in April, 2014.
My time outdoors is an immersive experience, so this article was really exciting to read. Not only is it about what I see, and sometimes capture (and share) via photography or videography, but it's also about the scents in the woods, the sounds around me, the different textures of the leaves or tree bark, the air can change from humid-hot to a refreshing cool. It's nice to stop, be still, and listen, breathe deep the aroma, feel the sun or shade on your skin, and of course take photos. I often record the sounds around me, thank goodness for smartphones. :)