As a musician and sound artist, I have spent most of my life as a contributory to the soup of sound that we call music, an art form that we consider to be an essential component of our cultural identity. After years of making music I started to become interested in the ways that the music of our modern day society has to constantly seek new ways to be heard above the noise that saturates our everyday sound environment, be it music from the exponentially growing number of music and sound artists worldwide or from the constant man-made noise that pollutes the acoustic environments of our cities, towns and villages and forms the monotonous soundtrack to our increasingly urbanised lives. I began to realise that, whether the practitioners that shape today's sound culture seek to compete with the escalating levels of noise in our lives or differentiate themselves from it, it is inevitable that so long as sound is made our lives will get louder.
As our cultural, technological and domestic priorities increasingly pollute the planet with noise, we are day by day losing our naturally pure soundscapes, where the uncorrupted voice of nature can be heard and true peace, quiet and solitude found. After years of making sound as a musician I began to simply listen, not to the anthropological noises of our everyday lives, industry and culture but to the biological, meteorological and geological sounds created by the natural world. I realised how little we, as humans, understand our relationship with our planet's natural soundscapes and how we inhabit and share these acoustic landscapes with our fellow living creatures in harmony with the natural environmental cycles and systems of our world.
The day we stop listening only to ourselves and open our ears to the complex melodies, harmonies and rhythms of nature we will discover a whole new dimension of and appreciation for the natural world. It is then that we will be able to take action to preserve our natural soundscapes and defend the principles of wilderness, peace, quiet and solitude that are essential to sustaining a harmonious and sympathetic relationship with our natural environment.
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