29 July 2012

Geophony, biophony, anthrophony

What happens when [the animal] orchestra is disrupted by the anthrophony: chain saws, leaf blowers or highway traffic? If an indiscriminate sound like a loud motorcycle competes with the stridulation of an insect, the croak of a frog or the song of a bird, the affected animal may no longer be able to send its signal to mates or competitors. The voices of creatures in the choir may be drowned out. And mates and competitors will no longer be able to hear them. The integrity of the biophony is compromised...

...If you listen to a damaged soundscape — an expression of infirmity or extinction — the sense of desolation extends far beyond mere silence. The community has been altered, and organisms have been destroyed, lost their habitat or been left to re-establish their places in the spectrum. As a result, some voices are gone entirely, while others aggressively compete to establish a new place in the increasingly disjointed chorus.
-- from The Sound of a Damaged Habitat by Bernie Krause

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