“Hear Where We Are is as poetic as it is informative – in the tradition of some of the best scientific writing.” – Julia Whitty, Author, Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean
“Hear Where We Are opens up an entirely new way of understanding not only sound perception but our place within the world… I no longer just hear my surroundings, rather I am now aware of how deeply sound shapes my relationship to the world around me…” – Kevin W. Kelley, Author, The Home Planet
Throughout history, hearing and sound perception have been typically framed in the context of how sound conveys information and how that information influences the listener. Hear Where We Are inverts this premise and examines how humans and other hearing animals use sound to establish acoustical relationships with their surroundings.
This simple inversion reveals a panoply of possibilities by which we can re-evaluate how hearing animals use, produce, and perceive sound. Nuance in vocalizations become signals of enticement or boundary setting; silence becomes a field ripe in auditory possibilities; predator/prey relationships are infused with acoustic deception, and sounds that have been considered territorial cues become the fabric of cooperative acoustical communities. This inversion also expands the context of sound perception into a larger perspective that centers on biological adaptation within acoustic habitats. Here, the rapid synchronized flight patterns of flocking birds and the tight maneuvering of schooling fish becomes an acoustic engagement. Likewise, when stridulating crickets synchronize their summer evening chirrups, it has more to do with the ‘cricket community’ monitoring their collective boundaries rather than individual crickets establishing ‘personal’ territory or breeding fitness.
Michael Stocker is an acoustician and naturalist by trade and a musician by avocation, he has written and spoken about marine bio-acoustics and the impacts ocean noise pollution on marine life since 1992, presenting in national and regional hearings, national and international television, radio and news publications, and museums, schools, and universities. His understanding of both physics and biology has proven invaluable in court testimony and legal briefs, defending the environment against the dangers of human generated noise in the sea. As founding director of Ocean Conservation Research he is using his fluency in bio-acoustics to explore the impacts of noise on ocean animals to inform ocean policy and practice toward decreasing human bio-acoustic impacts on marine habitats..
Michael’s book Hear Where We Are: Sound, Ecology, and Sense of Place (Springer 2013) is an assembly of ideas and understandings of human and animal sound perception cultivated over a lifetime of interdisciplinary thinking incorporating his studies in world cultures, western intellectual history, physics, architecture, biology, acoustics, signal processing, music, theology, and literature.