There’s solace to be found in these forest sounds.
From South Africa to Sweden, and Australia to the United States, people have submitted amazing recordings of local forests. Recordings have been collected from every continent except Antarctica and there are over 750 available to listen to on the Timber Festival website. The project is a collaboration by The UK’s National Forest and Wild Rumpus, and it celebrates the world’s beautiful woodland as a natural inspiration for music. [Photo: Timberfestival.org.uk]
Ordinarily, the festival features an impressive lineup of speakers, musicians and artists in the lovely Leicestershire countryside. However, this year it has gone digital so that everybody can access it. Next year’s festival will hopefully be outside again. If all goes to plan, Feanedock, a forest created on ground once scarred by coal mining, will play host in 2022.
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This year festival-goers will miss the experience of camping in the forest. However, the forest soundmap offers some oasis in unprecedented times. Listeners can marvel at the enchanting sounds of the Scottish Highlands and be calmed by a nightingale song from Slovakia.
Australia, so far, is featured seventeen times which is a good start but we could definitely do better. And since we shut our borders to the rest of the world, it’d be quite nice to continue sharing the magical sounds of our bush with those that cannot travel to our fair land. To submit your own forest recording, all you have to do is head into your local forest or greenspace, take out your phone and make a minute-long recording using a voice recorder app. Then follow the instructions found here to upload.
You can explore the map and listen to Sounds of the Forest here.
Over 1.5 million people across the world have already taken the opportunity to listen. Moreover, as the pandemic stretches into the new year, nature offers us an opportunity to feel connected to the world. Some listen in to hear the sounds of far away, and sometimes remote, parts of the world. Others want to hear the familiar sounds of home, as travel is not an option for many at the moment.
Either way, it’s a welcome escape from everyday life. It’s also a reminder that the world will still be there to explore once some normality has returned to life again.