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World listening day

Prospekt Interesting facts, News, People

Photo 1. “Listening to the buzzing of flies, bumble-bees and honey-bees
was the most interesting part of the workshop” (Photo by M. Randić)


World Listening Day is celebrated on 18 July, the birthday
of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, one of the founders of the
acoustic ecology movement. Some unusually interesting soundscapes can
be found in the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar (for example, soundcloud.com/ivo-vicic
). One such soundscape is the depression of Bela Vodica Creek on the eastern
border of Risnjak National Park (until recently, a part of the grassland
on the eastern side of the creek, outside the park’s boundaries, was part
of the National Ecological Network and now is part of the larger NATURA
2000 Gorski Kotar complex). We took advantage of the celebration of the
park’s 60th anniversary to set up a small, nature-listening “workshop”
alongside the creek. Here are some impressions from the workshop:

PRIRODA: What is the purpose of the “Listening to
the Sounds of Nature” Workshop?
ANA and NINA: The purpose is of the workshop is to help us hear and learn
about the sounds produced by insects, birds, the creek and other “sound
effects” in nature.
PRIRODA: Did you find the workshop interesting?
ANA and NINA: It was very interesting because we were able to hear sounds
that we didn’t listen to before and didn’t pay attention to …
PRIRODA: What sounds impressed you the most?
NINA: The sound of a bumble-bee …
ANA: …and the sound of a honey-bee!
PRIRODA: How did you listen to them?
ANA and NINA: We used long cardboard tubes that amplified sounds.
PRIRODA: What was the purpose of the instrument that you occasionally
ANA and NINA: The instrument was a mandolin and we used it to try and
“call out” to insects that we heard in the grass.
PRIRODA: And did you succeed?
ANA and NINA: Well, not really. Maybe we would have fared better if we
knew more about the mandolin and the tones it can produce, and if we knew
more about insect habits and behaviour. But we won’t stop trying to call
PRIRODA: What do you think about the abundance of sounds of nature in
Risnjak National Park after attending the “soundscape workshop”?
ANA and NINA: It’s interesting. There are sounds everywhere around us;
all we have to do is listen closely.
PRIRODA: Would you attend another “soundscape workshop” if you
ANA and NINA: Yes, of course!
PRIRODA: Thanks for talking to us.


Photo 2. Nina and Ana try to “provoke” crickets to chirp. (Photo
by M. Randić)

Photo 3. Some types of sounds can be heard in the treetops, others at
ground level… (Photo by M. Randić).