Krause has been a significant figure in the study of natural sounds for many years, and in this book he reviews where the field has come from and discusses where it might be going. Part of his story is what soundscapes are... the collective sounds of places, not just isolated calls here and there. He tells the story of how these soundscapes have changed over the last 40 years. He also tells the story of how sound collection has changed over the same time period. The technology has become better, more portable, and data is easier to store. There is still lots of room for human innovation in how to process and organize the data, interpret what it means, and act in accordance with it. Also, he calls us to pay attention to sound in our lives and in our conservation efforts. The sounds of a place can tell us how healthy it is. We just need to learn to listen.
I was reminded of a couple other books while I read. One is the recent [b:War of the Whales: A True Story|18774982|War of the Whales A True Story|Joshua Horwitz|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1404192843s/18774982.jpg|26680076], which is a particular story of sound beneath the sea. Our navy makes a lot of noise, and it affects whales (and other marine life) -- the book is a dramatic example of the importance of Krause's field. The other I was reminded of is [b:The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light|16131044|The End of Night Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light|Paul Bogard|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1352226197s/16131044.jpg|21956974], which is a call to remember how important darkness is to our own health and well-being as well as nature's. It reminds us to pay attention to how we light the night and how that affects our experience of nature. In that it is an unconventional aspect of nature to write about and focus on, but that it is important and easy to change with small steps, I thought it was a similar call to action and summary of a field.
I got a free copy of Voices of the Wild from NetGalley.