6/ Bernie Krause: Great Animal Orchestra

101 Words – 072

Stepping down in gear today. Catching up on sleep. Listening to nature. Sounds seem clearer the first few days after arrival, before the new environment is normalized. While the Danes are enjoying their Autumn holidays Spring is unfolding here. Bottlebrushes in full bloom. A great variety of plants, many of which one wants to describe as exotic, even though they aren’t. The birds too have an exotic flair – Hoepoes and Loeries. Constant calls during the day. Crickets at night.

In the background there’s also the sound of the rugby commentators. South Africa lost to Japan. South Africa didn’t lose to Wales.

101 Words – 066

I was doing some sketching yesterday and noticed how my ears opened up during the process. A specific kind of awareness of the environment. Of course my ears are taking in sounds all the time – I’m not getting run over by a car when crossing the street – but the activity of drawing apparently cleared out enough thoughts to make space for a different kind of aural awareness. Stress is the quickest way to shut down that kind of listening, I’ve noticed. Turns out to be a good test – the mind tends to present those levels as better than they actually are.