On March 6, 2014, we joined for a unique acoustic tour around the world with internationally acclaimed acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. We listened to sunrise circle the globe, heard snow melt and whales sing, and discovered that the Earth is music—clear enough to hum all day.
His passion for natural environments and their signature sounds have led Hempton to circle the globe three times to document and record them. He speaks widely on the importance of listening and the evolutionary consequences of human hearing sensitivity being attuned to the natural environment and capable of detecting sounds over great distances. In Hempton’s words, “Silence—that is, the sounds of nature—is an endangered species. Yet, far from being a luxury, silence is an essential requirement of a full life, the think tank of the soul.”
Hempton provides professional audio services to media producers, including Microsoft, Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. His sound portraits also were featured in the national PBS television documentary, “Vanishing Dawn Chorus,” which earned him an Emmy.
Hempton has garnered awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise and, most recently, the National Hearing Conservation Association, for his efforts to heighten public awareness of the hazards of noise. He is also co-author of One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest to Preserve Quiet and the creator of a project that documents the increasing incursion of human-caused noise into natural environments, based in Olympic National Park.
For a taste of Hempton’s work, visit his website, Quiet Planet.
Free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5 to help defray costs.
7:00 pm, Thursday, March 6, at Quimper Unitarian Universalist, 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend.