The Soundscape Costa Rica


How vivid is the impression produced by the calm of nature, at noon, in these burning climates! The beasts of the forests retire to the thickets; the birds hide themselves beneath the foliage of the trees, or the crevices of the rocks. Yet, amidst this apparent silence, when we lend an attentive ear to the most feeble sounds transmitted through the air, we hear a dull vibration, a continual murmur, a hum of insects, filling, if we may use the expression, all the lower strata of the air…These are so many voices, proclaiming to us that all nature breathes” von Humboldt 1852.

Every soundscape that springs from a wild habitat generates its own unique signature that contains incredible amounts of information. Today, I would like to share some of that fascinating information with you in detailing the soundscape of Costa Rica.

Humboldt nearly 160 years ago wrote, “At the period of our voyage an old parrot was shown at Maypures, of which the inhabitants said, and the fact is worthy of observation, that they did not understand what it said, because it spoke the language of the [now extinct tribe] Atures.” Von Humboldt meticulously recorded the phonetic descriptions of the Ature phrases spoken by this old parrot. By doing this, he preserved some precious and notable features of a unique but now “lost” group of people.

During the OTS course, while visiting different sites I perceived that each ecosystem produced vibrant natural sounds that resemble an animal orchestra of insects, amphibians, birds and mammals. I listened to this ensemble of sounds at dusk, which I am sharing with you now in these recordings.

The soundscape is the signature of voices of the natural world, and as we hear them, we’re provided with a sense of place, the true story of the world in which we live. In only few seconds, a soundscape reveals an array of information, providing insight into many perspectives ranging from quantifiable data to inspiration.

And our ears tell us that the whisper of every leaf and creature contributes to the essence of our lives, which may indeed hold the secrets of love for all things, including humanity itself.

Each landscape produces unique sounds, reminding us as human beings that we are in some way connected to nature.

This is a song….A song for someone…This is a song…A song for someone”-U2 song for someone 2014


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