One Square Inch of Silence – Preserving The Last ‘Quiet Places’

This video, One Square Inch of Silence, takes a ‘listening journey’ with professional sound recordist Gordon Hempton to a Hoh Rain Forest location in Olympic National Park.

Hempton is an acoustic ecologist, interested in preserving not just the way the earth naturally looks, but how it naturally sounds. While audio ecology and synthesis may seem unrelated, both are concerned with consciously exploring and preserving sound. 

Hempton has been documenting the number of ‘quiet places’ – locations free from human-made noise for consistent 15-minute intervals – within the U.S. In 1984, there were 21 locations in Washington that met his criteria. In 2007, there were just 12 locations in the contiguous U.S., and only three in Washington.

via Tacoma News Tribune, Sonic Terrain

7 thoughts on “One Square Inch of Silence – Preserving The Last ‘Quiet Places’

  1. If a tree hugger falls from a lethal snake bite in a forest and no one was there to witness it, does he make a sound? 🙂

      1. Of course I could do better.
        That sound reminded me of my childhood, before I moved to NY City. Thank you for the video 🙂

  2. This guy is the best. The 15 minute rule is a good one for all gathered sound environments for post production as well. That way you have a good chance to not “hear the loop”. I’ve been gathering sounds for 20 years but not to the extremes Gordon has gone. When you sit there listening in headphones you have to learn to hold that cough of sneeze or even sigh a big breath. You do get into a zen mode of being able to stay still holding a mic in awkward positions for long periods just so you get the right sound.

  3. Great to be brought ‘down to earth’ like this.
    Ironically it’s garbage day today where I live and as I write this, the truck is in the neighborhood !

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