A Great Silence

Sound recordist and biophonist Bernie Krause has had a long and illustrious career, collaborating with such key underground figures as Rolf Julius, and formerly being part of the wonderful duo Beaver and Krause, with Paul Beaver. An article in the Guardian, replete with sound clips, discusses how, over the course of his long career, Krause has inadvertenly recorded disappering bio-acoustic worlds of coral reefs and Amazonian forests. Now, with global warming and the looming environmental catastrophe causing formerly vibrant locations to be denuded of sonic variety and life, Krause has become a memorialist:

The water pulsates with the sound of creatures vying for acoustic bandwidth. He hears crustaceans, parrot fish, anemones, wrasses, sharks, shrimps, puffers and surgeonfish. Some gnash their teeth, others use their bladders or tails to make sound. Sea anemones grunt and belch. Every creature on the reef makes its own sound. But half a mile away, where the same reef is badly damaged, he can only pick up the sound of waves and a few snapping shrimp. It is, he says, the desolate sound of extinction.

Published on 4 September 2012

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