Winner: Nature Sounds “Top Pick” of 1999, New Age Journal
Experience the future of nature audio, with 19 of the world's premier nature sound recordists and soundscape producers as your guides. This specially-priced 2 CD set features career highlights from sound artists who are expanding the field of "nature sounds" as we've known it, forging a new creative medium that's primed for emergence into public consciousness. The accompanying 48-page booklet offers reflections from the artists, essays on soundscapes, and detailed track notes, creating a context for deeper enjoyment.
Disc One is a real ear-opener, featuring surprising and engaging natural soundscapes, two excursions into urban soundings, and a taste of composing with transformed field recordings. Disc Two is more subtle, asking the listener to enter into a state of "deep listening." It features longer cuts, arranged as a day cycle, from pre-dawn to the middle of the night, with each voicing of the planet being long enough to begin to cast its own particular spell. Here, you'll get a taste of the deeper purposes behind the work of this group of extraordinary listener/composers.
So new and completely grounded in reality that I could neither tear my ears from the stereo nor read a single word of my novel. . . . Words do not do The Dreams of Gaia justice; you must truly listen to hear “the voice of the planet.”
An elegant cover and inspiring booklet encourage listening deeply to “the eternal story, in its original language.”
A masterwork of pioneering soundscapes
CD Now "On the Rise" feature
The Dreams of Gaia underscores advancements in environmental recording
Sometimes a recording will come along and completely change the way one listens; it cleans out the cobwebs of preconception, and tunes the mind into previously unimagined possibilities. This incredible two-disc compilation is one of those releases. The Dreams of Gaia reveals the secret language of birds, the quiet words of plants, and in effect, the voice of Mother Nature herself.
These superb natural soundscapes are produced by 19 of the world's premier environmental sound recordists, each of whom crafts surprising and engaging tracks that make one ponder the definition of music.
PJ Birosik, CD Now
We receive far too many CDs to review in our limited space, forcing us to limit ourselves to reviewing only the most exceptional. Among these, The Dreams of Gaia stands head and shoulders above most of the alternatives. . . . it is medicine for weary ears.
The wonderful strangeness, mixed with familiarity that we hear on these discs does not depend on knowing any of the voices at all—this is the music of the natural/human world, beautiful, often subtle, and invariably awe-inspiring whether we name it or not
Without exception, these selections awaken our senses, cause us to prick up our ears. They surprise us, tease us, intrigue us, and speak to us, often in phrasings we may not understand intellectually but which nevertheless resonate within us.
AUDIO SAMPLES >
Sonic Sirens - bat calls
Dreams and Memories excerpt
(urban composed mix) by Hans Ulrich Werner
Mind of the Pond excerpt - underwater insects by David Dunn
Beneath the Forest Floor - middle section (composed mix with transformations) by Hildegard Westerkamp
Beneath the Forest Floor - ending section (composed mix with transformations) by Hildegard Westerkamp
Melting Glacier - full track by Jonathon Storm
La Selva excerpt
- Costa Rican rainforest by Francisco Lopez
Loon pond - full track by Ruth Happel
Sora Dawn - American prairie by Lang Elliott
Morning - Africa by Jean Roche
Venezuela Wonder Frogs by Jean Roche
Weddell seals under the Antarctic Ice (this is their real sounds, no electronics!) by Doug Quin
Over the Prairie - green-winged teal and whistler (again, natural sounds, not a plane!) by Lang Elliott