Home > Events > Wild Sanctuary Relaunch, Bernie Krause Writes

Wild Sanctuary is an online archive and bookstore featuring a wealth of bioacoustic research, nature sound recordings, and related literature on the world’s changing soundscapes.

Founder and ecologist Dr. Bernie Krause writes:

On 22 January, we officially launched our new web site, one completely dedicated to the field of soundscape ecology: http://www.wildsanctuary.com

The site, composed, orchestrated and conducted by my dear wife, Kat, and executed by a wonderful community of magicians, contains many sections. But the most resonant of is the WildStore which contains the heart of our message — representative recordings from sites covering much of the planet and an arc of time that spans 45 years in the field.

In the Soundscape section, for instance, and aside from my own work, biophonies from the Arctic (Martyn Stewart, Kevin Colver, and me), to the Antarctic (Doug Quin), to the Amazon (David Monacchi), to the American Southwest desert (Jack Hines), to the American Northeast (Ruth Happel), also examples of Borneo, Sumatra, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Galapagos, among others, can be found. Especially remarkable for its lyricism and quality is a brand new and rare recording by Volker Widmann titled “Dawn in the Black Forest.” This is truly a masterpiece. No less astonishing is the observation that about half of the recordings in my archive and album collection are from habitats so compromised by human endeavor, that the biophonies can no longer be heard in any recognizable form.

Other sections include music related to or inspired by natural soundscapes such as “Meridian,” an album of soundscapes and music (by former Peter Gabriel keyboardist and Wyndham Hill artist, Phil Aaberg) following spring as it moved north 16 miles (30km) a day along the 111 meridian; Native Voices, a collection of music and stories from groups closely linked to natural world experience like the Nez Perce, Ba’Aka, and Yup’ik Eskimos; a children’s title; and a new Special Collection segment that features species-specific birds from the American West (Kevin Colver).

25Also, my new book, The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places, (Little Brown), will be released in March in paperback edition along with symbols of referenced sounds in the narrative that can be accessed on a special web site. The book is also being released this year in German, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean.

As for my bioacoustic work, my first field recordings were made in 1968 using a Nagra IVs and Schoeps XY systems, and were incorporated as components of orchestration for a synthesizer music album my late music partner, Paul Beaver, and I were doing for Warner Brothers, a title called “In a Wild Sanctuary,” the first music composition to express the theme of ecology. In 1981, the same year I earned my PhD with an internship in bioacoustics, I did my first digital recording using a Sony beta version called the F1 in Wyoming, We also beta-tested the Sony DAT recorders in the mid-1980s switching to MS (Sennheiser) and transitional digital formats (DAT) in the latter half of that decade. By January, 2002, I was experimenting with double MS systems at Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge (N. of Sacramento).

This one’s for you. And we are thrilled to be part of this ever-expanding community.

Ciao,
Bernie Krause
Wild Sanctuary: http://www.wildsanctuary.com
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