Sounds Wild and Broken: Nature's Sonic Marvels

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  • From £6 – £12 Concessions available

With David George Haskell.

This event takes place at the British Library.

David George Haskell is professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and author of the acclaimed recent Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and The Crisis Of Sensory Extinction. It explores the sounds of an entire planet, from crickets' stridulation – one of the most ancient animal songs of all, dating back 270 million years – to birdsong and human music-making. 

He joins us in person to discuss everything from rainforests that vibrate with insect sounds to swamps pulsing with frog calls. He shines a light on evolution's creative powers – how species learn to adapt through calls, song and sound. He takes us to threatened forests, noise-filled oceans and raucous city streets to show how vital sonic diversity is to the survival of our planet. Ultimately he makes an appeal to connect to nature by listening.

Introduced by Cheryl Tipp, the British Library's Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. 

This event accompanies the British Library’s exhibition Animals: Art, Science and Sound.

Half price tickets available for Members, Students, Under 26s and other concession groups. 

'Wonderful . . . Sounds Wild and Broken is a sort of rigorous scientific update on that 1960s imperative to “tune in and turn on”: a reminder that the narrow aural spectrum on which most of us operate, and the ways in which human life is led, blocks out the planet's great, orchestral richness.Guardian, BOOK OF THE DAY

David George Haskell is professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and a Guggenheim Fellow. As well as Sounds Wild and Broken (2022), he is the author of The Forest Unseen (2012), a meditative but richly informed study of a square metre of old Tennessee forest, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and The Songs of Trees (2017), which won the John Burroughs Medal. His work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of the natural world. 

Cheryl Tipp is the British Library’s Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. With a background in zoology and library services, Cheryl has spent the past 15 years looking after the Library’s world- renowned collection of over 250,000 species and habitat recordings. She has worked extensively on projects that encourage the creative reuse of archival content, from student video games to short films from emerging filmmakers. She is currently Secretary of the International Bioacoustics Council which seeks to promote discussion and the exchange of ideas between scientists, engineers, sound archivists and field recordists working with natural history sound recordings.

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Name: Sounds Wild and Broken: Nature's Sonic Marvels
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £6 – £12
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.