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hanging out with audiophiles

Jan 19, 2023

David Haskell is a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and a Guggenheim Fellow.

His 2017 book The Songs of Trees won the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing. His 2012 book The Forest Unseen was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and won the 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Reed Environmental Writing Award.

His new book, Sounds Wild and Broken is out now and I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down in person with him in my studio here Nashville to discuss it briefly.

Here’s a quick summary of the book from the official press release:

Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, Haskell illuminates and celebrates the emergence of the varied sounds of our world. In mammoth ivory flutes from Paleolithic caves, violins in modern concert halls, and electronic music in earbuds, we learn that human music and language belong within this story of ecology and evolution. Yet we are also destroyers, now silencing or smothering many of the sounds of the living Earth. Haskell takes us to threatened forests, noise-filled oceans, and loud city streets, and shows that sonic crises are not mere losses of sensory ornament. Sound is a generative force, and so the erasure of sonic diversity makes the world less creative, just, and beautiful. The appreciation of the beauty and brokenness of sound is therefore an important guide in today’s convulsions and crises of change and inequity.

Here’s a link to the book in all it’s various formats (the link is slow but it works)

I can highly recommend you give it a read. It's just a wonderful read and full of insights that will stay with you.

There’s a Soundcloud link with sounds pertinent to the chapters which you can check out here


I also wanted to give a shout out to pod listener Simon Taylor and his book


Some great ideas and knowledge that’s not too overwhelming check these whee links:

US  Or UK 


As always send music and stuff to