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Saturday Cinema: Nature’s Orchestra

Students enjoying a soundscape recording.
Saturday Cinema: Nature’s Orchestra
Sounds of Our Changing Planet
Presented by Cinema Arts
Film Producer Stephen Most in Person!

Nature’s sounds have been recognized as crucial indicators of environmental quality since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Traveling across the planet to every continent since the late 1960s, noted musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause has recorded more than 15,000 species, both marine and terrestrial.

Nature's Orchestra: Sounds of Our Changing Planet produced by Stephen Most and directed by Robert Hillmann (2015, 24 min.) follows Bernie Krause on a soundscape expedition in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Soundscape ecologists have to travel far to record habitats that are neither disturbed nor destroyed by human activities. Along with animal voices—migratory bird songs, a barking fox, and a grizzly's sniff—the expedition records the melting of permafrost and other evidence of climate change.

Recording geophonic sounds of wind, melting tundra, cracking ice, and flowing water are as important for this scientific expedition as recording wildlife.

Nature's Orchestra offers a unique marriage of science and art. Accompanying the visual beauty of America's Serengeti is music with sounds from the wild that Krause composed for the symphony "The Great Animal Orchestra," and also for the "Biophony" ballet.

Krause's work demonstrates that the origins of music are in the world's wild places, and that sounds in the wild provide an important connection to the natural world, as well as to our deepest selves.

The Cinema Arts film collection is made possible by the Louis Goldblatt Memorial Fund.

Still image from Nature's Orchestra


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