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Explore the Science of Soundscapes during Stetson Artist Talk with Bernie Krause

Buzzing bees, chirping birds, howling hyenas, croaking frogs, singing humpback whales, the fluttering of cottonwood tree leaves and other calls of the wild are the natural world’s soundtrack. There once was an abundance of sonic soundscapes, but they are disappearing due to altering weather patterns, urban sprawl and noise pollution.

Bernie Krause, PhD

Soundscape ecology studies biological and non-biological natural sounds emanating from terrestrial and marine habitats.

Renowned soundscape ecologist, bioacoustician and the founder of Wild Sanctuary, Bernie Krause, PhD, has been recording natural sounds for 50 years. He will be discussing “The Great Animal Orchestra: How Animals Taught us to Dance and Sing” during his artist talk on Saturday, Nov. 16, 4-5 p.m., at the Rinker Welcome Center, 529 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, 32723, in the Lynn Presentation Room. The free, community event is presented by Stetson University, Stetson’s Artists and Lecturers Series and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Cultural Credit will be available for Stetson undergraduates.

The soundscape ecology pioneer has traveled from the Arctic to the Amazon rainforest to record and archive 5,000 hours of ecosystems for his organization, Wild Sanctuary. He uses an array of microphone systems and recording-capture technologies on land, and various hydrophones for recording sound underwater. Krause will be discussing his serendipitous process of recording sound signatures in ecosystems and the importance of soundscape ecology during his presentation.

“Soundscape ecology illuminates the field of sound in a way not previously experienced in our otherwise visual culture,” explained Krause. “My colleagues and I never know what we’ll get when we record in a natural environment because nothing is guaranteed, and we’re almost always surprised and learn something new every day in the field. I hope attendees will discover some new ways of thinking about sound and how it can be incorporated into their lives productively during my presentation.”

Nathan Wolek, PhD

“Dr. Krause has dedicated his life’s work to documenting the world around us through audio field recording,” said Nathan Wolek, PhD, professor of digital arts and music technology at Stetson. “His personal catalog of recordings provides a window into how soundscapes have been impacted by factors like urban expansion and environmental changes. I hope attendees will come with an open mind and learn how his conclusions were informed by a lifetime of careful, attentive listening.”

Jack Hines

Krause’s artist talk and events with soundscape specialist and Wild Sanctuary colleague Jack Hines is part of an artist residency at the ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore that is in partnership with Atlantic Center for the Arts and Canaveral National Seashore.

Krause’s soundscape ecology research has captured nature’s symphony for others to appreciate for many years to come.

More Soundscape Participatory Events

Stetson faculty will be presenting their research at Daytona State College’s ShORE (SHaring our Research with Everyone on the Indian River Lagoon) on Friday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the News-Journal Center at Daytona State College, 221 N. Beach St., Daytona Beach, 32114. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Chaz Underriner, PhD

Stetson faculty members, Wolek and Chaz Underriner, PhD, assistant professor of digital arts, will be discussing their Florida Springs Soundscape research during the conference. The project is an acoustic ecology that examines the role of sound in the natural and human experience at Blue Spring and DeLeon Springs State Parks. It is funded by Stetson’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience faculty seed grant program.

The soundscape exploration begins with Hines discussing soundscape ecology, providing listening awareness exercises and conducting a soundwalk on Saturday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at DeLeon Springs State Park, 601 Ponce de Leon Blvd., DeLeon Springs, 32130. The event will include listening stations that provide visitors with a volume boost, so they can hear harmonious habitats in the wilderness along with listening to underwater sounds with hydrophones. Stetson’s digital arts students will be assisting participants as they listen to environmental encounters and monitoring the equipment at each designated site. The soundscape experience is open to the public and free with park admission.

-Sandra Carr