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Animal rights, cloud forest sounds, and… what is life? | Newsletter #55 -

Animal rights, cloud forest sounds, and… what is life? | Newsletter #55

Namaskar*, friend. 👋 

Welcome to the 55th edition of the newsletter.

We’re also delighted to announce that audio production software/hardware manufacturer Native Instruments has generously offered non-expiring iZotope RX licenses to the winners of our Grants program (which includes the recordist of our Soundscape of the Week!). By enabling sound analysis, and with features such as a spectrogrammatic display (allowing visual representation of bird song and call patterns – an example is pictured below) and a great capacity for spectral repair for audio restoration, this industry-standard software will be sure to professionally benefit all our grantees.

*An alternative spelling of ‘namaste’.

Soundscape of the week 

🌏 ‘Winds and Waves at Billing Forest’: a minimalist recording, made by ‘Mustard Lake’ (aka A Bhaskar Rao) in India’s northernmost state, Himachal Pradesh, which documents nighttime wind rushing through pines, counterpointed by occasional bird calls.

Articles and essays

⚖️ ‘An Overview of Animal Rights around the World’ explores how few countries enshrine animals’ autonomy or dignity in law, the notion of ‘human exceptionalism’ which justifies this, the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, and the next steps for the movement to have these rights recognized.

☁️ ‘Australia’s Cloud Forest’, a recent installment of Wind Is the Original Radio, the podcast, features the sounds of many insect and bird species unique to Queensland’s upland rainforests, including “the wild crowings of orange-footed scrubfowl”. Other episodes are available on Apple and Google podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with new episodes released every Friday.

From the extended community

🧬 “What is the difference between something that’s alive and something that isn’t alive?” In just over seven minutes, Big Think video ‘What Is Life?’ allows Nobel Prize-winning geneticist and cell biologist Paul Nurse to summarize the five core principles which answer this question, as laid out in his book of the same name

🐙 For Atmos, ‘Life and Limb’ provides a eye-opening insight into the alien-seeming octopus, a mollusc which is “among the smartest [of] invertebrates”, boasts eight arms, nine brains, three hearts, blue blood, and has the ability to squirt ink, camouflage itself by changing color and texture, and regenerate lost limbs.

🍟 One of the most-visited nature reserves in the English county of Surrey is under threat from the construction of a 24-hour McDonald’s drive-through within a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). Please consider signing this petition to prevent such a jaw-dropping lapse of judgment from being allowed.

👉🏽 Follow us on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, for a daily dose of nature-sound inspiration!

As always, until next time, we wish you a regenerative week. 🙏

With best wishes,
Neil and Team

How to support 

All 600+ of our curated, immersive soundscapes are free to listen to, but if you want to help us grow new forests, please become a supporter

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Check out our recordings of nature ambience from sound recordists and artists spanning the globe, our thematic playlists of immersive soundscapes and our Wind Is the Original Radio podcast.

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Neil Clarke is an independent comics writer based in East London, who really wishes he could draw.