This is an archive of Michael’s original LMW1 project proposal.
This project is a study in naturally occurring sonic textures in the Bay Area and the unique ways in which local sound enthusiasts and acoustic ecologists interact with the natural world through sound. This project also seeks to shed light on the role sound phenomena plays in the community (via outdoor sound installations) as well as the impact society has on nature and how we can observe and understand the information that is being communicated to us through sound.
The wildlife of the North Bay provides a rich diversity of sound sources. The crashing waves, a myriad of trees each tuned to their own key by the wind. Frogs, birds, small mammals as well as the variety of marine life.
Some of the man-made natural sound installations in the Bay area include the Wind Harp in South San Francisco and the Wave Organ in San Francisco’s Marina District. These are more “natural” sound installations as compared to some that require human interaction or electronics.
Field Recording –
Field recording is the act of recording the natural world and is implemented in myriad forms of study such as in science (bioacoustics, animal communication, meteorology), religion, ethnomusicology (cultural studies through music and sound), sound therapy and entertainment.
The relationship of sound in our world is often taken for granted. As early as the 17th century, the relationship of sound and frequency has intrigued intellectual thinkers. Since the invention of recording tools acoustic ecologists have studied the shifting tones and textures of our planet, contemplating how the fundamentals of reality can be organized into frequencies, and ratios thereof, forming consonant and harmonic bonds.
“Biophony (aka the niche hypothesis) consists of the Greek prefix, bio, meaning life, and the suffix, phon, meaning sound. It specifically refers to the collective sound that vocalizing non-human animals create in each given environment. The term, which refers to one of three components of the soundscape (the others include geophony [non-biological natural sound] and anthrophony [human-induced noise]), was coined by Dr. Bernie Krause. The interrelationship of disciplines informed by natural soundscapes is called soundscape ecology, a further refinement of the older model and term, acoustic ecology.
The study of biophony focuses on the collective impact of all sounds emanating from natural biological origins in a given habitat. The realm of study is focused on the intricate relationships – competitive and/or cooperative – generally between non-human biological sound sources taking into account seasonal variability, weather, and time of day or night, and climate change. It explores new definitions of animal territory as defined by biophony, and addresses changes in density, diversity, and richness of animal populations.”
“The term anthrophony, consists of the Greek prefix, anthro, meaning human, and the suffix, phon, meaning sound. The term refers to all sound produced by humans, whether correlated, such as music, theatre, and language, or incoherent and uncorrelated such as random signals generated by electromechanical means.
The term was first used to describe certain soundscape phenomena recorded as part of a bioacoustic study in 2001-2002 commissioned by the National Park Service, and done in Sequoia/King’s Canyon National Park. Anthrophony is one of three terms used by Drs. Stuart Gage and Bernie Krause to define the general sources of human sounds/noise that occur within a soundscape.”
“Geophony, from the Greek prefix, geo, meaning earth-related, and phon, meaning sound, is one of three components of the soundscape that relates to the naturally occurring non-biological audio signal sources coming from different types of habitats, whether marine or terrestrial. Typically, these refer to wild, relatively undisturbed habitats. But geophony is not limited to that narrow definition since these audio sources can be experienced nearly everywhere the effects of wind and water are expressed. The term was first used by Drs. Stuart Gage and Bernie Krause to describe certain soundscape phenomena recorded as part of a bioacoustic study in 2001-2002 commissioned by the National Park Service, and done in Sequoia/King’s Canyon National Park. Geophony is one of three terms used to define the general sources of sound that occur within a soundscape.”
For further reading please research these other conscious investigators of sound: