Sounds Wild and Broken. Listening beyond the surface

lecture by David George Haskell
, from
online on the Zoom platform

The 20th edition of the International Landscape Study Days, Soundscapes. The experience of silence and sound in the landscape, will be preceded by the online preview lecture by David George Haskell, Professor of Biology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and the author of Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and The Crisis Of Sensory Extinction (Viking 2022), Italian edition Suoni fragili e selvaggi. Meraviglie acustiche, evoluzione creativa e crisi sensoriale (Einaudi 2023).


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. 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 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.

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