An Acoustic Ecologist Takes You On a Guided Walk In the Hoh Rain Forest

posted by Ann O’Hara

Silence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox." Quiet is a "think tank of the soul." If you visit the On Being website (click here) you can hear an interview with Gordon Hempton. There is also a thumbnail from the full length interview on the same website. Whether you choose to listen to the full interview or the small segment, from the interview by Krista Tippett, you can take in the world through Gordon Hempton’s ears.

A bit about On Being - we learn the following from their website:

“It began with a controversial idea for a public radio conversation, Speaking of Faith, that would treat the religious and spiritual aspects of life as seriously as we treat politics and economics. On Being, as it has evolved, takes up the great questions of meaning in 21st-century lives and at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. What does it mean to be human, how do we want to live, and who will we be to each other?

The show launched on two public radio stations. Even as it grew year over year, it remained fairly hidden on the dial, consigned, as the New York Times wrote, to the “God ghetto” time slot of Sunday mornings. When podcasting came along, On Being took its place among leading podcasts. It has been downloaded and played over 200 million times.”

The short footage below, from National Geographic, provides us with both the sights and sounds of the Hoh Rainforest - and the sense of quiet…According to Mr. Hempton, “quiet is quieting’…give a listen…and a look.

The gift of quiet
is that it allows the faint meaning of sound
to gain its original importance.
— Gordon Hempton