Hello and welcome to the very first earth.fm newsletter! 🎉
We seek to help protect and regenerate natural ecosystems while reconnecting ourselves to the natural world – starting with our inbox!
Did you notice a little design improvement on the website? We’ve got filters! You can now browse our growing archive of 500+ recordings according to mood, duration, predominant sound, habitat, and recordist.
Soundscape of the week
Recently added to our library, this recording transports us into the US’ Lassen Volcanic National Park, capturing the hissing, rushing soundtrack of acidic, boiling geothermal pools and bubbling mud pots. These rare sounds were recorded by a new artist, Kelly Rafuse, who also runs the podcast Sound by Nature, which comprises long-running, ad-free “field recordings gathered in wild and scenic areas of Northern California and beyond”.
Updates from the earth.fm team
“It was a very intense, sensorial experience to attend to the recordings in the middle of the woods, at night, without being able to see the deer even once. It was also the first time I made recordings with another field recordist, which constituted a bit of an intellectual expansion in terms of this work, besides being very special to share something like that with someone else.”
Look out for the resulting recording when it’s uploaded next week! Meanwhile, new soundscapes on the site include Melissa’s own ‘Dawn chorus of spring in a Swedish forest’, from 2018, and the more recent ‘Wind whirl on pine trees’ – a deer-less outcome of her first night exploring in Orléans.
Another, characteristically superb, new upload comes from veteran wildlife recordist Simon Elliott: the haunting nocturnal calls of wedge-tailed shearwaters, recorded from a small island in the Great Barrier Reef.
Coming soon to our library
As well as further recordings from Kelly Rafuse, we will also soon add some work by fellow field recordist, filmmaker, and photographer Darrin Wassom, who blends these techniques on his site Nature Is My Jam, creating multimedia documents of the environments in which he works.
New articles and essays
- This interview provides an introduction to the valuable work being done by Sharing Nature, a worldwide movement which uses a revolutionary teaching system that fosters empathy in order to help children and adults deepen their relationship with nature. Of the desire to have people increase their connection to the nature world, Greg Traymar, Sharing Nature’s international director, has this to say:
“There’s no ego when you’re out in the wilderness. It’s just pureness. And most people aren’t used to that. But when you have those experiences, it develops into more and more love and more good feelings. Ideally, we hold on to those feelings so that when we’re with others, we’re able to spread it. Like the German poet Goethe said, ‘A joy shared is a joy doubled.’”
- “Behold the new orchestra!” In a fascinating read, Anca Rusu introduces the polymath composer and artist R. Murray Schafer (who coined the word ‘soundscape’):
“Schafer explored the acoustic environment, past and present, and attempted to imagine what it might become in the future. Our sonic environment began with the primordial sounds of nature, but, as civilization continues to develop, we are experiencing an ever-increasing complexity to our sonic surroundings: ‘an indiscriminate and imperialistic spread of more and larger sounds into every corner of man’s life’. This overabundance of ‘acoustic information’ is actually diminishing our ability to hear the nuances and subtleties of sound.”
- And, here, Jan Brelih details a sound-recording expedition into the Colombian Amazon rainforest:
“ I still vividly remember my first walk from the hotel, with my recording gear towards the nearby jungle. For the first time, I heard those colorful tropical sounds and saw so many different bird species flying above the tree canopies. Later, I found a hidden trail following the river through the dense jungle. I followed it excitedly while looking for a good place to set up my microphones…”
A second installment is coming soon!
Cool things from the extended community
- ‘The Poetics of Ecology: A conversation with Andreas Weber’: the biologist, philosopher, and author discusses the role of kinship, creativity, and enlivenment in a time of ecological devastation:
“Mainstream science has misled us for generations, claiming that only humans are feeling subjects capable of sophisticated sensations and emotions; everything else is a lifeless object. Thankfully biology is learning that sentience and felt expression in organisms are not just fanciful projections of the human mind. Instead, being an organism means being flush with feeling and the desire to be alive, and to be wholly expressed in that aliveness.”
- ‘Bioacoustics: What nature’s sounds can tell us about the health of our world’ unpacks the way that studying ecosystems’ soundscapes can allow researchers an insight into what the Earth is saying:
“And the truth is, Earth is singing a strange and troubling song. The planet’s biophony — the sounds living creatures make — is being silenced. Humans are cutting down forests, ploughing fields, emptying the seas, killing wildlife, introducing invasive species. […] Earth is talking. Are we listening? Absolutely not.”
- Melissa again! This time, as a guest of presenters Sebastian Echeverri and Rutendo Shackleton on the latest episode of the BBC Earth Podcast, the first of season five, which explores how to have a nature adventure wherever you are.
See the earth.fm Twitter feed for more content like this!
Until next time, we wish you a regenerative week. 🙏
Neil and Team earth.fm