Sharing Soundscape Awareness & Advocacy
Hi everyone, first post on the Soundscape Support Team forum, happy to be a member. I think there are many issues here with helping people to connect with nature through sound. One of the chief ones I believe, is the increasing disconnect of humans with nature but also a loss of any type of meaningful relationship to ‘wild places’. Without an emotional attachment to something we are much less likely to understand it, if we don’t understand it, no positive relationship will be formed. So I think the way ahead is to try to help people develop a relationship with nature on a deeper level. When this happens there is a change of consciousness or awareness that begins to challenge our original ideas of what nature means. In short, when we love something, we want to protect it.
Really our ‘competition’ is a culture based on materialism, instant gratification and growth. Most see nature as a commodity, for human use. So getting back to the original question. I think soundscapes can help to promote awareness but it needs to be done as part of a consciousness shift within society. With growing awareness of Environmental problems, education is going to be key to sustaining eco-systems in the decision makers of tomorrow, and this is where I think soundscapes can play a huge role. The question is how do you compete? It means people spending meaningful time in nature or for those who cant, free access to soundscapes online, new curriculum’s developed for schools that don’t just teach biology but ecological awareness, access to online resources for teachers, etc. Perhaps this is where we could begin to play a bigger role. I had someone give a cd of my soundscapes to a teacher who plays them during class, I hear the affect is really positive, it gives the classroom a whole different mood.
Great discussion, even if I'm arriving very late. I completely agree with Mark's comments about promoting nature awareness by our kids. I've been teaching wildlife tracking for a number of years, which is another way of getting kids outside (even though I teach adults generally) and learning what wildlife is in their area. For me, listening has always been a part of tracking - part of the awareness of your surroundings. Being quiet gives you a much better, if not the only, chance of being able to see the animal you are tracking. But my world was completely rocked when I picked up a microphone and put on headphones. I had no idea how much I had been filtering out (and part of me wishes I never had picked up a mic, 'cuz now I can't not hear the "noise" anymore). But it has created a huge awareness in me about how much sonic impact we are having on the world around us. My career is changing directions...