On Martha’s Bookshelf: The Great Animal Orchestra

One of the books I’m reading right now is The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places. Acoustics expert Bernie Krause was a sound man for the movies when he first began going into nature to collect sounds for his customers. He traipsed through forests and deserts, seashores and mountains using delicate machinery to amplify the ambient noise in each place. Reading his book, you can almost hear what he heard and to quote what he says of wild places, “the visual spectacle is impressive, but the sound is absolutely glorious.”

If you read my latest books you already know why I’m so crazy about The Great Animal Orchestra. Way back, when I was living in the middle of a very busy city I felt literally starved for the sounds of nature. This book helped me understand why, gave me a verbal approximation of many gorgeous sounds, and filled me with new enthusiasm for approaching nature with my ears, as well as my eyes, wide open. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and not wanting to go on a listening expedition. Buy it, read it, and listen up. I can’t wait to hear what you discover.