Symphony of the Birds

This stunning “symphony” is pieced together from bird calls recorded by Jerry and Norma Stilwell. Jim Fassett then overlayed the sped-up and slowed-down calls to simulate the varied timbres of an orchestra. The work is divided into three parts–Andante e lirico, Buffo, and Misterioso–and premiered on Fassett’s Sunday afternoon CBS radio program. Messiaen would have been […]

Silence Is Golden

“I have nothing to say and I am saying it.” This is what I know about sound… for now. I’ll assume Earthlings have always thought critically about sound.  I might be giving us too much credit… Bernie Krause, the author of The Great Animal Orchestra (2012), started his career as a session guitarist for Motown recordings–he […]

The Tuning of the World

Does every musical genre boast “fathers,” “grandmothers” and “kings?” Sure, pop has its legends, classical  its masters, and funk, “the hardest working man in showbusiness,” but if the esoteric wasteland of academia follows suit, then acoustic ecology has Raymond Murray Schafer. Schafer on a soundwalk. Born in Canada in 1933, R. Murray Schafer is a man […]

Where You Go To Listen

Photograph by Evan Hurd The phrase “sound ecology” is what first drew me to the field.  What’s more natural than the perception of sound? However, I later learned eco-researchers more accurately describe their work as “acoustic ecology.”  While this is a relatively new discipline (1970s or so), there has always been a formidable lineage of avant composers and philosophers astutely conscious […]