In a local World Heritage listed national park the sounds of birds, rivers, and wind in the trees is becoming increasingly compromised by the sound of air traffic. Parks once designated in part to provide a sanctuary from the lo-fi static of the outside world are losing their acoustic balance.
In 1977 soundscape artist R. Murray Schafer foresaw the problems related to an increase in human population and technology, writing: noise in the sky is distinguished radically from all other forms of noise in that it is not localised or contained … modern technology has given each individual the tools to activate more acoustic space. This development would seem to be running a collision course with the population increase and reduction of available physical space per individual.
The first clip in this post demonstrates this problem. Recorded in Mebbin National Park, over 7 minutes of the 8 minute clip contains the sound of air traffic.
The second clip is recorded in the same park – whip birds on the forest floor call to each other at approximately 20 second intervals while dew drips from the trees.
The contrast between the two clips is obvious.