#67: Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker®

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

I wanted to interview Gordon Hempton because his jobrecording the sounds of the natural worldstruck me as highly unusual and fantastically interesting. What I did not expect was to end up weepy. And yet, driving away from his home, a wooded place in the northwest corner of Washington State, I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

What was it that had moved me so? Listening to Hempton describe our vanishing soundscapes? Realizing how disconnected I’ve become from the sort of silence he’s working to save? Discovering, only as I packed up my gear, that Hemptonin the cruelest of ironiesis now losing his hearing?

It could have been any one of these things; most likely, it was all of them. What I do know is that by the time I got home, I had a craving for silence; instead of logging onto Facebook, I listened to this.

About Gordon Hempton: Known as the Sound Tracker®, Gordon Hempton has circled the globe three times over the last 30 years in pursuit of nature’s rarest sounds. His astounding recordings, many of which are collected at Quiet Planet®, have enriched numerous films, including the PBS documentary Vanishing Dawn Chorus, for which he earned an Emmy. In 2010, he was the subject of the film Soundtracker, and he co-wrote One Square Inch of Silence, a book calling on us all to preserve the quietest spot in the United States.

Photo credit: courtesy of QuietPlanet.com.

In the podcast: natural soundscapes by Gordon Hempton, courtesy of QuietPlanet.com.