The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places Hardcover – Mar 19 2012
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"An imaginative introduction to a new dimension of the natural world."―Kirkus Reviews
"Krause's musical expertise allows him to hear the orchestral layering of different species in each biophony, an insight that explains group vocalization as an evolutionary survival mechanism rather than a purposeful chorus of noise."―Publishers Weekly
"The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist. I have watched him recording the calls of chimpanzees, the singing of the insects and birds, and seen his deep love for the harmonies of nature. In this book he helps us to hear and appreciate the often hidden musicians in a new way. But he warns that these songs, an intrinsic part of the natural world and essential to human well being, are vanishing, one by one, snuffed out by human actions. Read The Great Animal Orchestra, tell your friends about it. And as Bernie urges, let us all do our part to preserve the age old sounds of nature."―Jane Goodall
"Krause shows us the music of the natural world - long may his work continue!"―Pete Seeger
"Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research, and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive."―E.O. Wilson
"This fascinating book awakens our ancient ears to the source of all music. Read it, and you'll yearn to muffle our din-and hear anew."―Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us
About the Author
Dr. Bernie Krause is both a musician and a naturalist. During the 1950s and 60s, he devoted himself to music and replaced Pete Seeger as the guitarist for The Weavers. For over 40 years, Krause has traveled the world recording and archiving the soundsof creatures and environments large and small. He has recorded over 15,000 species. He lives in California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Here, Bernie asks whether the sounds and rhythms of human music could have been adopted wholesale from the animals in our environments -- in short, whether animals taught us to sing and dance. The rhythms and songs of these animals will astound you, and give you a different perspective on the inspiration for our music.
All of life makes sound. The recordings are beautiful moments. We are encouraged to remember to stop and listen to each other and to the wild. All creatures have a voice and together create biophonies, they listen to each other. This book is beautiful. A Painful reminder of what we are loosing in our rush to take and make.
We need more people in the world that think and act like him.
I would consider it a honor to be able to meet him someday.
I would have appreciated the book more if it had contained more natural history lessons and fewer personal recollections.
I was somewhat disappointed in the content, expecting it to have more technical specifics than it did.
Bernie Krause built upon a musical education and grounding to create a new dimension of sound. After building a career in the music business--itself a rare achievement--he turned to the sounds of nature. He deals with sound as his mentor, considering sounds from the land and ocean, evaluating the organized sound of life itself, covering what he calls `biophony' as a proto-orchestra, revealing the interior of the magnificent reality represented by the sounds of life that surround us every waking moment.
The book has many dimensions: it is a scientific treatise of exceptional scholarly quality and clarity; it is a book of global scope, since the author has worked worldwide, on land, at sea and undersea in pursuing the soundscapes of animal life; the book studies and documents the influence of human activity on ecosystems that predate humanity by hundreds of thousands of years, explaining the destructive aspects of human-derived sound, which he calls `noise'; and it is a richly anecdotal book of profound human insights, since it enables the reader to appreciate, in ways that were hitherto unavailable, the influence of sound in essentially every aspect of our lives, in places rich with mystery that most of us will never visit. Krause believes, and who are we to argue with him, that human communication over the millennia may be based on the natural sounds that preceded speech and singing--after all, animals, birds and marine life were here long before Man.
If one had to level a criticism at the work, it would be the missed opportunity of not including a CD of natural sounds, or at least offering one to readers, but this does not happen. There is precedent: Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd, is a committed automobile enthusiast who included a C D of some of his great collector cars in his book.
That minor criticism aside, Animal Orchestra is beautifully written, in lucid prose that pleases the mind. It is not a casual or easy read, because it is a voyage of discovery, replete with arcane detail that calls for close, attentive scrutiny and thought, but the time spent will be well rewarded. A spiritual tone pervades the work, compelling one to believe that knowing the author would be a profoundly uplifting experience. His clarion call for greater respect for nature resounds from every page.
This book is a great achievement. One will never hear or listen to the world the same way, ever again.
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