Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction. David George Haskell.

Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction

Staff pick
While the rest of us nature-lovers flail to describe how listening the sounds of other beings in the world is a vital practice, Haskell has a talent for putting the ephemeral and the embodied to the page, beautifully demonstrating through science and aesthetics how vital soundmaking is to every creature in the world, and how human activity--of course--threatens this sense fundamental to all of us.

Viking, March 2022. First Edition. Hardcover. New / New. Item #266053
ISBN: 198488154X

"[A] glorious guide to the miracle of life's sound." --The New York Times Book Review



A lyrical exploration of the diverse sounds of our planet, the creative processes that produced these marvels, and the perils that sonic diversity now faces

We live on a planet alive with song, music, and speech. David Haskell explores how these wonders came to be. In rain forests shimmering with insect sound and swamps pulsing with frog calls we learn about evolution's creative powers. From birds in the Rocky Mountains and on the streets of Paris, we discover how animals learn their songs and adapt to new environments. Below the waves, we hear our kinship to beings as different as snapping shrimp, toadfish, and whales. In the startlingly divergent sonic vibes of the animals of different continents, we experience the legacies of plate tectonics, the deep history of animal groups and their movements around the world, and the quirks of aesthetic evolution.

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.

Sounds Wild and Broken is an invitation to listen, wonder, belong, and act.

Signed by Haskell on title page. First printing

New Book

Price: $29.00

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