A book with CD combo that introduces the many ways animals (and humans) use sound and make sound.
How did our culture come to lose its appreciation for the voices of our planetary companions? What can paying attention to sound offer us, individually and collectively? This book of short essays, each accompanied by a track on the CD, introduces the universal qualities of sound-making and listening, and is filled with sudden kernels of synthesis and insight. It's a great blend of history, philosophy, personal reflection, deep ecology musings, and cultural context.
The CD has 40 tracks, nearly all being natural sounds, with a few exploring human sound-making.
There is a welcome intellectual clarity here, and a generosity of heart toward the listener/reader which welcome one into listening, into reflecting. Connection becomes possible.
Annea Lockwood, composer, professor (Vassar College)
Dunn takes us to the edge of the unknown through his recordings and intelligent commentary. . . This book should be a part of every classroom.
Pauline Oliveros, Oberlin College
The genius of the book lies in its commentaries. . . The world of sound is demonstrated in its immense and fascinating complexity. The combination of commentary and recording makes an excellent teaching tool, as there is something of interest for listeners of all ages from pre-school to adult—even for professional musicians. The book is a remedy for our cultural condition of “not paying attention to” sound; it presents one person’s engagement with sound in such sympathetic terms that one is invited to enjoy the intricacies of the sonic world.
Gayle Young, Musicworks
Anyone who has used listening exercises in education knows their power to develop attentiveness and a sense of connection with the outer world. Listening and reading (to this book/CD) forges an experiential connection with the creatures and landscapes that created the sound. A very worthwhile resource.
Though simple in form, this book will not treat the reader in a condescending fashion. It is a compelling, 40-track audio tapestry where we can marvel at the sonic abundance of biodiversity. Yet, we cannot avoid the realization that earth’s wilderness is fast becoming a global collection of game parks, poached and encroached by humanity. . . .
Dunn tells us that we have organized our culture around the dominance of the eye. What he offers is help in the re-awakening of our ears. He has compiled a multi-dimensional layers of the sounds of some of the world’s most intriguing life forms. Listening closely, without visually-dependent metaphors, we can perhaps perceive our own interconnectedness as co-inhabitants in this startling biodiversity. . . .
To Your Health
Dunn is not answering the title’s query; rather, he presents readers with the means to awaken their own primal response.