The soundscape of košljun islet – on world listening day*

Prospekt Interesting facts, Landscape, News

Photo 1. Cicadas – the most persistent “singers” in Mediterranean
soundscapes (Photo by M. Randić)


We went to Košljun Islet, renowned for its century-old
holm-oak forest. As we walked along the interlaced paths, we tried to
recognize as many sounds as possible. With every step we took, twigs cracked
and leaves rustled on the ground beneath our feet and when we stood still,
we could hear the rustle of a blackbird in a bush and the quiet buzzing
of wasps and flies…

We heard cones cracking in the crowns of Aleppo pines,
and while trying to locate the source of that sound we were frightened
by the shrill sound of a cone breaking off a branch and falling to the
ground in front of us. From the highest branches of the holm-oak trees
we could hear cicadas singing their monotonous songs. Suddenly, the cicadas
fell silent, enabling us to hear the intriguing call of a bird we did
not manage to see, as well as the call of a tit and a blackbird.

After a short break, the cicadas continued their simple
and tedious but nevertheless highly audible song. Although many sounds
remained behind us during our short soundwalk, one sound followed us all
the way – the sound of the sea. In the background of the soothing sounds
of nature, we could also hear the various sounds of civilisation, such
as the sounds of airplanes, helicopters and marine engines.

Of all the sounds we experienced on Košljun Islet, the
most impressive was the sound of the “quartet” of cicada and
bird calls accompanied by the soughing of the forest and the sea.

* World Listening Day is celebrated on 18 July, the birthday of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, one of the founders of Acoustic Ecology movement.

Ana i Nina Randić

Photo 2. The century-old forest on Košljun Islet is the source of numerous
interesting sounds. (Photo by M. Randić)

Photo 3. “In the crowns of Aleppo pines we heard cones cracking…”
(Photo by M. Randić)