On Earth, there would be only about fifty areas completely sheltered from noise pollution attributed to human activities. This observation was made by Gordon Hempton, an American acoustician whose mission is to identify these havens of peace scattered around the globe.
» Here we are. Once crossed the threshold, not a word, we will communicate by gestures. No mobile phone, anyway in the forest the network does not pass, you forget the headphones and it would also be good to avoid eating. Sit against a trunk, on a stump, wherever you want, and take all the time you need, there are no timetables here. I will wait for you at the exit” indicated Gordon Hempton to the Télérama journalists who followed him on one of these expeditions to a national park near Washington (United States).
Gordon Hempton is a bioacoustician, that is to say that his specialty is none other than silence, or rather sounds containing no noise of human origin. The man has traveled around the world three times in the last three decades, always in search of totally natural sounds. His passion is also his job, since he earns money by selling recordings to television channels, often as part of the development of documentaries.
“I travel extensively in order to speak what the Earth whispers to us — if we bother to listen” can we read on the official website of the artist, also author of the book One Square Inch of Silence published in 2010, which can be roughly translated as “A few square centimeters of silence”.
Gordon Hempton tries to make the world aware of the preservation of these havens of peace which know no noise pollution. In a video portrait, the artist jadedly explains:
“There was a time when everything was so quiet. And that was taken for granted. What white pine has to say, only white pine can say, and you can’t hear it in an office. »
The artist produces high quality recordings, but also indicates the irreplaceable nature of listening to nature live, a sound purity unfortunately constantly interrupted by the noises coming from human activities. Indeed, in such conditions, a passing plane spoils all the fun.
Sources: Télérama – Konbini – West France