the great animal orchestra


Sounds to Accompany the Book

From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others. And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm.

A symphony based on THE GREAT ANIMAL ORCHESTRA will have its premiere performance at the Cheltenham Music Festival on July 12, 2014. More information:

The Great Animal Orchestra speaks to us of an ancient music to which so many of us are deaf. Bernie Krause is, above all, an artist.” –Jane Goodall

“By his own count, Krause has recorded the sounds of more than 15,000 animal species and recorded more than 4,500 hours of their natural ambience….This literate, often poetic and thoroughly entertaining book reflects his passion.”—David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle

“This passionate amalgam of science and autobiography argues that in the wild, animals vocalize with a musicianly ear.”—New York Times Book Review

“Krause has become one of the world’s most outspoken—and unusual—environmentalists….This book movingly conveys his anger at the unseen toll that human-generated noise has exacted on the natural world—and why that matters.”—Paul Mitchinson, Washington Post

“This fascinating book awakens our ancient ears to the source of all music. Read it, and you'll yearn to muffle our din—and hear anew."—Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and the forthcoming Countdown

For more about Bernie Krause, visit

Click to expand each chapter and experience the sounds of THE GREAT ANIMAL ORCHESTRA.


Early Soundscape

Chapter One


Muir Woods





Chapter Two

Big Sur

North Sea


Fresh Water Lake

Rain & Thunder

Rain & Thunder Transition

Snow in Tetons

Glacier Mass


Chapter Three

Mountain Gorillas


Baby Vultures


Insect Larvae



Lincoln Meadow 1988

Lincoln Meadow 1989

Reef (alive)

Reef (dead)

Echo-y Rainforest

Dry Desert

Open Tundra

Spread Creek 2009

Spread Creek 1981

Chapter Four

Kenya, Governor's Camp

Crocs Around a Boat


Henno Treefrogs


Borneo Dawn

Chapter Five

Mountain Gorillas Singing

Mountain Gorilla Scream

Orca Humpback Attack

Wild Orcas

Orcas in Captivity

Beaver Cries


Common potoo

Musician Wren


Dzanga-Sanga bai

Women Gathering Payu

Chapter Six

Charles Ives' Symphony #4, 3rd movement excerpt


Once on a Windy Nite (excerpt)

Chapter Seven

Yellowstone in Fall

Chapter Eight

Spadefoot toads 1

Spadefoot toads 2

Amazon Chorus (normal)

Amazon Chorus (normal)

Snowmobile Cluster

Chapter Nine (Coda)

Atlantic Rainforest (Brazil)

Legend Days Are Over

Chernobyl Dawn

Desert Solitudes

Arctic Timber Lake

Candle Ice