The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged soundscape

  • Listen to the Reserve On the Web

    | August 11, 2014 | Filed under: Observations
    Sonogram showing 10 minutes of recording time for a dawn chorus at the Wells Reserve
    The soundscape team from Purdue has posted 20,950 audio recordings from 10 sites around the reserve:

    They're 10 minutes a piece, so to hear them all you'll want to carve out 145.5 days of uninterrupted listening time. (If only I had started as soon as I received the link, I could have wrapped up my sonic immersion on New Year's Eve.)

    Taken a bit at a time, you can use these snippets to form a fascinating soundtrack to your day. Put on headphones and travel back to spring for a midnight visit to a vernal pool. Wonder what the same peeper chorus sounds like underwater? Now you know.

  • Listen Here. Really: Listen

    | July 17, 2014 | Filed under: Culture
    Informal portrait of Dr. Bryan Pijanowski with one of his soundscape recording devices.
    World Listening Day is July 18. I'd never heard of it until this week, when listener extraordinaire Bryan Pijanowski mentioned it during his noontime talk in the auditorium. Dr. Pijanowski is in town for the Global Sustainable Soundscapes Network's coastal workshop, which includes a site tour here today.

    Soundscape ecology is a new branch of science, Pijanowski explained, made possible by technological advances in recording and digitally processing sound. Broadly, it is about studying sound in a landscape and its effects on organisms, and he does that all over the world (including, this spring and summer, at the Wells Reserve), but the Purdue professor is also interested in how sound connects people to a place and evokes emotion.

  • Ear-reka!

    | June 28, 2014

    Concerts for the Coast 2014

    Photo (c) C.A. Smith Photography


    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 6/29/2014.

    Every hour, the Mississippi River Delta loses an area of marshland the size of a football field to the Gulf of Mexico. Every day, World Cup host Brazil still clearcuts six square miles of rainforest. Every month, the oil-producing nations of the world suck 2.3 billion irreplaceable barrels of oil out of the ground beneath our feet.

    If we look around, we can watch the natural world disappearing right before our eyes. The good news is that those rates of loss have been worse in the past. The bad news is that what we see disappearing isn’t the only thing we’re losing.

    It turns out, the sounds of the natural world are fading too.

  • The Sounds of Place

    | May 6, 2014 | Filed under: Observations
    Purdue University ecological acoustics research team on a cool, damp, May day
    Last week we set up acoustical equipment in 12 locations throughout the reserve, typically about 40 feet off the trails. The equipment will create an ecological soundscape of habitats… mapping sounds of animals and other living things (biophony), sounds coming from wind in the trees, rain, and the ocean (geophony), and sounds of jet planes, people talking, trains, gunshots, and lawnmowers (anthrophony). Together, these recordings will help describe our environment over time… who is there, who is missing, what is disturbed, what has changed.

    Will these soundscapes reveal habitats of vitality or quiet? What changes happen over time? Is the food web diminishing or increasing with new animals, returning animals? Are the sounds different from year to year, day to day, month to month, season to season?