Founded in 1993 by Geoff Sample, Wildsong began as a notebook of sound studies of the natural habitats and wildlife of northern Britain. Then grew to take in Britain and its European context as the western province of the vast Eurasian continent.
Wildsong is what we hear when we step over the threshold of our cloistered spaces into the open environment. The sounds of wind and water – the geosphere, the songs and calls of animal life – the biosphere, and over much of the planet in the 21st century the sounds of human activity, mostly of our technologies – the mechanosphere.
Sound environments in flux with habitat and population changes (humans and other species connected), offer a rich field of contemplation, engagement and a sense of cultural history, with a trail of texts sprinkled through written history – a long tradition of hearing music in nature and writing about non-human soundscapes and individual creatures in musical terms.
Wildsong is an antidote to the pressures and alienation of the anthropocene. We explore the open landscape through sound: it’s about the rich source of pleasure to be had in just listening to the world around you, the living world. And particularly the other creatures we share our planet with, their songs and calls, their domestic interactions, their gatherings and their rituals as they go about their lives in spite of us, through the changing seasons.
Tuning in to the voices and expression of other creatures is a fascinating way of engaging with questions of what it is to be alive, animal on this planet earth. To trace the path of voice from amphibians and insects though birds and mammals is to become aware of a wider musical heritage and feel a real sense of continuity in anima, the breath that is the spirit of life. And to absorb the full, rich depth of a natural soundscape involves a mix of science and art.