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The Soundtracker Wants You To Hear This

Earth is a Solar Powered Juke Box – Gordon Hempton

Capturing the sounds of nature, acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton has been recording wildlife noises for decades.

Referred to as the Soundtracker, Hempton has traveled the globe in order to catch glimpses of nature sounds that may otherwise go unheard.

Getting an exclusive sound in the outdoor elements is just another day at the office for this audio adventurer.

Sometimes placing himself in dangerous positions to collect the noises or the naturally quiet, his live nature recordings are done using customized equipment with tried and tested methods. For instance, placing sandpaper over equipment so that slippery hands trying to navigate them in a rainstorm in the dark can get a grip.

He has led several audio projects, including One Square Inch of Silence, a unique soundtrack of a wild region that is by his accounts the quietest place in the U.S.

Housed in Olympic National Park in Washington State and located in the Hoh Rain Forest, the quiet zone is attainable by a 2 hour hike from the park’s parking lot and resides high above sea level. Hempton provides the exact location and notes that the spot is marked with a mossy log that has a red top.

The area was labeled on Earth Day in 2005 to commemorate natural landscapes and their organic sounds, as well as to bring attention to the negative influence that man induced noise pollution can have. This specific location was chosen in order to safeguard the rich ecological diversity and wilderness of the park and to conserve the uninhabited breathing space.

Watch a snippet about the Soundtracker documentary to learn more:

Sadly, Hempton who has gone to great lengths to bring the world such remarkable audio recordings is currently experiencing substantial hearing loss that requires extensive medical analyses.

While at times we may forget to stop and listen to the stunning sounds offered from our natural surroundings, Hempton has made sure that we can access them when we do remember to slow down and appreciate them.

Along with a free download you can hear samples of Hempton’s work from an article appearing in BirdNote.

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