sound of the week

Every week one member of the EAR project selects a sound he likes and wish to share with others. Here are the sounds selected so far.

2024 week 20 [choice by Jérôme] A wonderful field recording by Olivier Pichard made in the East of France. The soundscape is crazy and the deep and echoing call of the Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) is astonishing.

2021 week 26 [choice by Jérôme] « Le noir de l’étoile » (trad. « The black of a star ») a percussion sextet composed by Gérard Grisey in collaboration with the French astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet. The music is inspired by pulsars which are periodical electromagnetic signals emitted by compact stars. More explanation about this piece of music here [in French].

2021 week 25 [choice by Sylvain] Original soundtrack of a current exhibition (May to October 2021) at the Philharmonie de Paris entitled Amazônia based on Sebastião Salgado’s work.

« For seven years, Sebastião Salgado immersed himself in far corners of the Brazilian Amazon, photographing the forest, rivers and mountains, and the people who live there. On his journeys deep into this realm—where the immense power of nature can be felt as in few places on earth—his photographer’s eye captured striking images, most being shown here to the public for the first time. Accompanied by an original soundtrack—a ‘symphony-world’ created by Jean-Michel Jarre using concrete sounds from the forest—the exhibition also gives voice to the indigenous communities photographed, via their testimonies. »

2021 week 19 Syrigma is a project lead by Adèle. Her project tries to make us listen and love the wild sounds in all their forms (melodious, brutal, imaginary or real) by adopting a feminist, queer and anti-specist posture. « Rana temporaria song«  is an electroacoustic piece composed in 2020. Electronic drones guide us through different points of view and invite us to immerse ourselves into these amphibian wild songs.

2021 week 18 [choice by Jérôme] Last release of Stéphane Marin. A wonderful acoustic narrative full of textures and effects with multiple nature citations. Should (must) be listened with good headphones.

2021 week 17 [choice by Elie] Cornelius is a Japanese musician known for his experimental work. In the song « Drop », he sampled water sounds and made a track that was both dreamy and dancing. It is my favorite use of geophonic sounds for music composition.  I hope you will like it too. I recommend his record « Point » if you want to dig further. It contains a cover of « Brazil » with a particularly soothing bird song introduction.

2021 week 16 [choice by Jérôme] Fernand Deroussen is a major field recorder, so called in French « audionaturaliste ». He traveled all around the planet to capture wildlife breath. Here is PUR an original work for the French TV. PUR consists in a series of 5′ podcasts containing a sequence which content is revealed only at the end. A beautiful ‘guess what’ sound game!

2021 week 14 [choice by Sylvain] Born in Copenhagen in 1924, Knud Viktor settled in the South of France to do lithography and to paint the light that fascinated Van Gogh. « Pris par le son » in 1962, he became a sound painter to make Luberon the vibratory substance of his work, using the concretions of noise as colors. Away from developments in concrete music, he sought his « concerts de bruits » in nature. He is sometimes considered as a pioneer of field recording, one of the precursors of sound ecology (Translated from

2021 week 13 [choice by Adèle] Hildegard Westerkamp is one of the main figures of soundscape composition and a researcher in acoustic ecology. She works on acoustic space and she is engaged through her compositions in feminism and environmentalism. This composition is an experience of the forest. You can immerse yourself in sounds recorded in the old growth forests of the west coast of British Columbia and live for a moment in a world full of mysteries.

2021 week 12 [choice by Jérôme] Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) has inspired a lot of musicians since its first description in Science in 1971 by Payne and McVay (RG link). Here is a beautiful and deep composition by Alex South.

2021 week 11 [choice by Manon] I would like to introduce the Maloya, a music genre from the French Island La Réunion. Belonging to the UNESCO Intangible cultural heritage, Maloya was a way used by slaves to express their emotions and to celebrate. Maloya combines song, music and dance. I would like to share the music of Christine Salem, a female singer I could listen to at the occasion of music festival in the Cirque de Mafate.

2021 week 10 [choice by Simon] This is a music composed by the DJ Molecule from recordings of Nazaré (Portugal) in March 2019. Nazaré is a world famous surfing spot where was established the record of the biggest wave ever surfed (33m). Molecule had this crazy idea of trying to catch the sound of big waves there.

2021 week 09 [choice by Félix] A video and a sound recorded by the sensor network developed and installed by the MIT Media Lab’s Responsive Environments Group, in collaboration with Living Observatory, at Mass Audubon’s Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary (Massachusetts, USA). EAR, through Felix PhD, is working on the data generated by this unique monitoring program.

2021 week 08 [choice by Sylvain] Sandhill cranes flighying over Bernado waterfowl in New-Mexico, USA. The sound was captured in Bernado waterfowl in New-Mexico (USA) in November 2017, at the confluence between the Rio Puerco and the Rio Grande. Each year, over than 5000 cranes may congregate at one time in this area during the winter.

2021 week 07 [choice by Jérôme] This is a 15′ recording of forest soundscape made by Gordon Hempton at Olympic National Park, close to Seattle, USA. This recording is part of his project « One square inch of silence ». Gordon Hempton defined a small place where silence, that is the absence of human-based noise, should be absent. This is a wonderful recording. I particularly enjoy the woodpecker drumming which resonates returning some information about the size of the forest a bit like when we test the acoustics of a room by clapping hands and hearing the echoes of the walls.

One Square Inch of silence by Gordon Hempton

2021 week #06 [choice by Elie] In 1975, Prozesky-Schulze discovered that some tree cricket males transformed leaves into baffles in order to increase their mating call intensity. Recently, an international team from the University of Bristol and the Indian Institute of Science conducted a thorough study on the subject and recorded these crickets in different situations published in eLife.

2021 week #05 [choice by Simon]  Into Boreal Forest par Targo Targo. This is a sound created by Simon and his group during the project they conducted in Russia. The acoustic scene was created using Matlab for a project with a school. It was made with some sounds of the Russian boreal forest and violin played by a Élise Creton. 

2021 week #04 [choice by Laurent] Cuckoo’s Toccata by Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710) : Chirps are probably produced by trillos or little arpeggios on medium notes but with very high registration for the organ.

2021 week #03 [choice by Adèle] The listener by Jana Winderen. This composition use subaquatic recordings. We can hear the song of underwater insects. Jana Winderen is a composer who explores the strangeness of natural sound environments.

2021 week#02 [choice by Félix] This fascinating event presented through a video : dolphins and whales are attracted by Rone’s Music. Rone is a French electronic artist and apparently while playing his music at sea, dolphins and whales somehow might come to you.

Check out the FB video here.

2020 week#53 [choice by Sylvain] A soundscape glimpse of northern Sichuan (China), part of Kham, one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet (June 2019).

2020 week#51 [choice by Jérôme] Naturellement by Bastien David, a wonderful ballet composed with a few sounds from the MNHN sound library.

2020 week#50 [choice by Elie] Swet Shop Boys is a hip-hop band composed of Rizwan Ahmed, an actor that you might have already seen in Venom or Star Wars Mandalorian, hip-hop artist Heems, and british producer Redinho. In « Birding », they use a singing bird sample as a substitute for a flute gimmick, ginving both rhythm and an original sonic identity to the track. During the whole song, they compare themselves to several bird species.

2020 week#49 [choice by Sarah] Hoopoe is very significant bird, which has an ecological and cultural values in our region (Kuweit). It is a migrant bird to Kuwait, and now we can find it in the reserved areas or rarely in the urban garden. Hoopoe is very important species to the ecosystem services. It cleans the land from unwanted insects, and stops invasive species. It is considered a friend to the farmers. The Arabic name is Hudhud. It is mentioned in the Quran, the holy book as a servant to King Solomon. And that what gives it a great cultural value. It produces a very unique call, that is similar to its name, hoopoe. When it produces this sound, it makes a body motion with its head that is very distinguishable.

2020 week#48 [choice by Adèle] Presque Rien n°2 – Ainsi continue la nuit dans ma tête multiple by Luc Ferrari. Nocturnal soundscape where we travel between real and imaginary. Luc Ferrari is a pioneer of electroacoustic music. This composer manipulates with talent humor, politic and poetry.