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Chidikho Midnight Ambience - nature landscape painting -

Chidikho Midnight Ambience

Artist: Mustard Lake
Madhya Pradesh, India

Chidikho is a Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, India. A complex biome combining Deciduous Forests with characteristics of a Grassland ecosystem, protects and preserves fauna ranging from rare predators such as Leopards and Hyenas to less endangered but equally vulnerable animals like Wild Boars, Sambhar, Cheetal, and Nilgai. The sanctuary is also home to resident and migratory birds including the Paradise Flycatcher, and Peacocks.

Recording a midnight ambiance in Chidikho turned out to be a realization of a rather abstract sonic idea. The audio equipment is stationed at a small lake, which is at the center of the forest. The lake and its banks are the only source of water for the forest’s wildlife, which is also home to over a dozen crocodiles. Along with slightly elevated hills surrounding it, the water body creates an interesting acoustic enclosure where the sounds from all over the forest seem to collide into a common center. This movement coincides with the movement of birds and animals in a forest where the predator-prey dynamics are profound, and concurrently sensational to an observer like me. The dynamics, the shape and form of which is something I can only listen to, and not see.

What seems to be a quiet and sparse soundscape, on a closer listen reveals multiple layers of sounds, expanding the perception of space which is otherwise invisible in pitch black darkness. Foregrounded by sounds of smaller insects, and fishes splashing in the lake, every bird or animal call at a distance reveals the spatial depth in the incoming sound’s direction. And sometimes creates auditory illusions as well, when it is intended by the animal or bird creating it at the source. It feels like stories unfolding, in sound and space. Stories of the illusive leopards, and their nocturnal hunts, and a guessing game of which movement in sound would be the one that leads to actually witnessing one of the most feared predators in the natural world, hunting in its habitat.
A story which is only interrupted by occasional sounds of a flight passing by, and religious processions from a nearby town several kilometers away. And sometimes the Langurs pooping and peeing from the top of the trees, creating overlaps between the dreaminess and real nature of this particular experience of Acoustic Ecology. is a completely free streaming service of 800+ nature sounds from around the world, offering natural soundscapes and guided meditations for people who wish to listen to nature, relax, and become more connected.

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