World Listening Day 2018: Future Listening

You are invited to participate in World Listening Day 2018, an annual global event held every July 18.

world listening day 2018 logoThis year’s theme is FUTURE LISTENING created by Filipino sound artist Teresa Barrozo.

The theme calls for reimagining a personal and universal future through listening. Participants are encouraged to examine their hopes, dreams, ambitions and fears for the future and reflect on the question,

“What does your future sound like?”

We invite the participants to imagine sonic possible worlds and the future of acoustic ecology through soundwalks, field recordings, site-specific performances, and curated events and concerts on the theme. Participants can also participate in virtual worlds by listening and sharing endangered sounds and identifying sounds they want to render obsolete in their future.

Future Listening ultimately aims to engage the world in opening its ears to the present and in acknowledging the immense capacity of the act of listening in shaping our collective future.

Here are general guide questions to consider:

What does your past sound like? What does your present sound like?
Which sounds do you wish to retain? Which sounds do you wish never to hear again?
Which sounds do you consider as toxic waste?
How does silence sound in your future?
How does noise sound in your future?
Which sounds have gone silent?
Can you still hear?

Dozens of organizations and thousands of people from six continents have participated in World Listening Day since its inception in 2010. Help share and grow participation in this annual event by adding your information to our online form.


THE WORLD LISTENING PROJECT (WLP) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practices of listening and field recording.

The WLP was founded in 2008 and is supported by the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, a membership organization and regional chapter of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, affiliated with the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.

The WLP maintains a website and online forum about its artistic and educational activities. These include the use of radio and web-based technologies, conducting public workshops, forums, and lectures, as well as participating in exhibitions, symposiums, and festivals. To learn more and become involved in the WLP’s activities please subscribe to our discussion group.

World Listening Day 2015 & 2016 with Bernie Krause

Bernie Krause is a world-renowned American musician and ecologist. He has traveled the world recording and archiving the sounds of creatures and environments large and small. Bernie has shared a poignant video with us in response to the World Listening Day 2015 H2O theme. We follow up with an update in 2016 for World Listening Day:  Sounds Lost and Found. This video shows the impact of the California drought on the biophony in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in the Mayacamas Mountain range that divides the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, about 60 miles north of San Francisco. The GPS coordinates are 38°26’20.05”N/122°29’56.06”W.

World Listening Day 2015 & 2016: Bernie Krause from World Listening Project on Vimeo.

“The one-minute video illustrates changes due to climate change. The following is the text
describing what’s occurring:

Basically, this short example pertains to the California drought and shows the drought’s impact on the biophony in this area (about 50 miles north of San Francisco in a place called Sugarloaf State Park…a low elevation mountain range that is the border between Napa and Sonoma Valley). This year – because of the drought – we experienced what was virtually a silent spring with no birdsong for the first time in living memory…even at what would have normally been the height of the season in mid-April…an unfortunate outcome of Rachel Carson’s prediction more than 50 years ago. What is most remarkable and weird is that nobody seemed to notice the incredible silence this year.

The video is comprised of four 15-second examples – one minute total. It powerfully illustrates how the issues of climate change and the drought have progressed in one location over the past 11 years. The first segment was recorded in 2004. The second in 2009 (five years later). Again, in 2014, and the last in 2015. The recordings were made in exactly the same spot, mid April, and with carefully calibrated and repeatable settings, same protocol, same equipment. The lower half of the spectrogram shows the signature of a nearby stream that was flowing almost normally in 2004 and 2009. The upper half is filled with several different species of birds (note how the species present in that habitat have found frequency bandwidth above that of the stream signatures). The 2004 recording was similar to the density and diversity of the previous 10 years at the same spot. In the 2009 segment, however, the bird vocalization density has dropped off a bit probably due to the spring season occurring 2 weeks earlier on average, now. But the stream is still flowing. In the 2014 segment, however, everything has changed. Three years into the most serious drought in 1200 years, the stream was no longer flowing and the bird density and diversity has dropped off to very low levels. This year shows something even more interesting; the avian diversity has shifted with new species occupying acoustic niches that the stream signatures once occupied, with several of the other species no longer present in any numbers. This confirms an earlier prediction posited in the niche hypothesis, the operation of which is predicated on vocal organisms finding unoccupied acoustic bandwidth within which to generate sound.”

Bernie Krause, World Listening Day 2015-16