Bernie Krause

Soundscape Artist; Author, Voices of the Wild

Since 1968, Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording and archiving the sounds of creatures and environments large and small. Working at the research sites of Jane Goodall (Gombe, Tanzania), Biruté Galdikas (Camp Leakey, Borneo), and Dian Fossey (Karisoke, Rwanda), he identified the concepts of the Acoustic Niche Hypothesis (ANH), and biophony the collective and organized acoustic output as each species establishes unique frequency and/or temporal bandwidth within a given habitat. To round out the definitions of soundscape sources, Krause, with colleague, Stuart Gage, added the terms, geophony (non-biological natural sounds), and anthropophony (humangenerated acoustic signals). Krause is also a founder of the new ecological discipline, soundscape ecology. In the world of fine art, Krause has produced over 50 natural soundscape CDs and designed interactive, non-repetitive environmental sound sculptures for museums and other public spaces worldwide. As a professional studio musician, Krause filled the late Pete Seeger slot in The Weavers during their final year (1963). With his late music partner, Paul Beaver, he helped introduce the Moog synthesizer to pop music and film on the West Coast in the mid1960s. Aside from their own charted recordings, the team’s work can be heard on over 250 albums, including those of Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and David Byrne, George Harrison, the Doors, and 135 feature films released since 1967, including Apocalypse Now, Performance, Rosemary’s Baby, Shipping News, and Castaway.

Krause, who holds a PhD in Creative Sound Arts with an internship in Bioacoustics, was a germane to introducing the concept of natural soundscapes as a resource for the U. S. National Park Service. His recent book, The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places, (Little Brown/Hachette, 2012), has been translated into eight languages. In 2014 the Cheltenham Music Festival premiered a symphony by Richard Blackford and Krause featuring the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The Great Animal Orchestra: A Symphony for Orchestra and Wild Soundscapes, based on Krause’s book, is the first live performance piece to incorporate natural soundscapes as a component of the orchestration. (CD available on Nimbus Records.) In the spring of 2015, Biophony, a score composed entirely of natural soundscapes, was and premiered by the Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, an international corps based in San Francisco. His book, The Power of Tranquility in a Very Noisy World, (Little Brown/Hachette) was published in 2021. Krause’s art and science exhibition, Le Grand Orchestre des Animaux, commissioned by Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, premiered in July 2016. The piece has since been exhibited at the Seoul Museum of Art in S. Korea, Shanghai, China, and opened MoMA’s (NY) Triennale in Milan 2019, London’s 180 The Strand Gallery, the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, 2021, 23rd Sydney Biennale, 2022, and Les Vivants arts expo in Lille, France, April, 2022. In the Spring of 2023, it will have its West Coast premier at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Krause lives with his wife and partner, Katherine, in Sonoma, California. 


Wildfire smoke clouds out the New York City skyline

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