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At a young age, Bernie Krause (Wild Soundscapes) became fascinated with the array of natural sounds filtering through the walls of his family's house. He grew up to become both a musician and a naturalist, making a career out of recording natural sounds since the late 1970s; he was one of the first naturalists to record entire natural soundscapes rather than individual species.
In The Great Animal Orchestra, Krause details his time recording "biophonies"--the collective sounds made by wildlife in environments ranging from the jaguar-haunted Amazon to a teeming coral reef or the bone-dry African savanna. Along the way, he expounds on his theory that human music has its origins in the symphony of the natural world. From the broken reeds that sighed in the wind and inspired the first flutes, to the birdcalls that may have given humankind the pentatonic scale, the world's wild places contain musical elements incredibly similar to those of human musical ensembles, with each species occupying its own niche of sound. Krause also demonstrates the extent of the damage environmental disasters (both natural and man-made) inflict on soundscapes, adding that finding a listening site free of human sound interference is growing increasingly challenging.
Join Krause as he catches the sound of snowflakes falling, the rumble of a glacier from inside a crevasse and "the languorous glissando-like choruses of the gibbons" in Borneo, and learn how to tune your ears to the rhythms of the wilderness that gave us music.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***