Our ears tell us a very different story. Wildlife and marine life do express themselves. What do they say I cannot tell you. A biopheny is all of the sound from any given habitat all at one time, and one place a sort of orchestra. Anthropheny is any given sound that the humans make.
When the spring time comes and the moisture comes up in the ground and the frogs come to the fresh springs where the frogs all come in the evening to sing is unison. Why do they all sing in unison, its competitive and cooperative; so the predators are not able to find the individual for protection and so the frogs can come together for mating.
In the beginning, the capture of these sounds seemed unimportant, in the sixties, and were basically just a single wild creature making sounds. Now holistic models, have the soundscape machines people use to relax to or give ambience to nature stores and museums.
Biophenies help clarify our understanding of the natural world
A vibrant animal orchestra soundscape, and each sound scape habitat generates it’s own unique soundscape signature. One that contains incredible amounts of information. Like the geopheny which are the sounds in any given habitat which are not from any living kind of being, wind, water, ocean shore, the sun.
In the sixties when these sound engineers would go out and capture these symphonies of nature sounds it used to take ten hours of recording to make up one, one-hour album. Now in this day and age it take almost 1,000 hours to record enough information to still make up that one-hour CD.
Because of human resource extraction, global warming and human noise, fully 50% of habitat that makes up the archives of wild nature soundscapes is no longer around or has been so radically altered. The health of the habitat can be measured through the capture of nature scapes, and it is of great importance.
Selective logging, “It doesn’t destroy the habitat like clear cutting does, it’s better for the forest”
In 1988 in Lincoln Meadow, a logging company comes along and tells the people it can use a new method called selective logging and it will not disturb the habitat. By selectively taking out a tree here and there instead of using the old method of completely clear-cutting the forest. The soundscape was recorded before and after this method of cutting through the forest.
The difference in nature scape
The complete sound of any wild life communicating at all is missing from the nature scape after one year of selective logging, (see video). For fifteen years after the use of selective logging was done on Lincoln Meadow the biopheny is still not the same, it has not returned. From the naked eye, to look at Lincoln Meadow, before and after selective logging, it looks exactly the same, but it’s not.
The last point made is from a man who was out recording soundscapes, far out in the woods, when out of nowhere to game wardens came over to a beaver dam and dropped a stick of dynamite down into it and left. The man was amazed, completely caught unawares and it took him some time to gather his thoughts. Listen to the sound as he recorded it after everything settle down in the habitat.
Biophenies are important in environmental science and a fuller understanding can be had by what we hear, and the sense of place and true story can be heard. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a soundscape is worth a thousand pictures.