In The Power of Place, author Winifred Gallagher challenges the reader to consider the impact of the physical environment has how we think, how we feel, and how we act. She suggests that, “our decisions about where to live or work can have a significant if often unsuspected impact on our well-being, whether through subtle means such as lighting and plants, or more directly, through agents such as allergens or pollutants.”
Gallagher discusses the importance of a place’s energy/chi and its ambience/feng shui, “a good or bad environment promotes good or bad memories, which inspire a good or bad mood, which inclines us towards good or bad behaviour.”
Her discussion of electromagnetic fields and geomagnetic fields led me to re-visit some of the work done by Bernie Kraus on acoustical analysis of ecological landscapes; niche theory, biophony and geophony.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWkMWDSVZuQ]
Kraus’ work demonstrates that every living organism reverberates, and creates sound. These sounds create a biological symphony, and the “songs” are narratives of relationships and interactions of the physical environment. Krause’s recordings have found that in biophony, animals tend to divide up the acoustic spectrum, ensuring that they won’t interfere with one another’s mating calls or other communications. It’s essential to co-existence.
What happens when the biophony of a place is disturbed by man-made noise? What happens to the sychronicity of the symphony? Clive Thompson’s article “How Man-Made Noise May Be Altering Earth’s Ecology” discusses Krause’s theory how on human-made noise disrupts: “it interferes with a segment of the spectrum already in use, and suddenly some animal can’t make itself heard. The information flow in the jungle is compromised.