Bernie Krause

Notes from the Wild

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This smartly designed book/CD combo resembles a rustic field guide (complete with woodcut illustrations) Euell Gibbons might have carried in his knapsack 40 years ago. But the CD component is as up to date as can be, leading off with an "Amazon Nights" soundscape Krause meticulously assembled from 100 recorded tracks, and which compresses a dusk-to-dawn aural experience to just over 12 amazing minutes. Krause, who supplies ambient sounds for the Cleveland Zoo's rainforest exhibit and many other public spaces, modulates his environmental compositions like natural sound symphonies. One of the best here is "A Gift from the Sea," which begins on land to the cry of seabirds and the crash of waves, then submerges to the busy traffic of clicking fish and singing whales.

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