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Snow Melting into Music, With Gordon Hempton

Who knew snow made music?

As spring warms the land, imagine what resident birds like this White-tailed Ptarmigan – and those returning – might now be hearing, in places long covered by snow. Gordon Hempton, the SoundTracker, captures the music… “John Muir uses the expression, 'Snow melting into music.' But I knew that snow couldn’t really melt into music. Muir must have been using some kind of literary license, I told myself. And then I reminded myself that I’ve never listened to snow melt before. So I went up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, made myself do it. And on a late afternoon, I saw this snow field and it was dripping water, and this is what I heard …”

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Snow Melting into Music, With a Nod to John Muir,
As Told by Gordon Hempton


Interview by Todd and Chris Peterson

    This is BirdNote.     
    As spring warms the land, imagine what resident birds – and those returning – might now be hearing, in places long covered by snow…
Gordon Hempton, the SoundTracker, captures the music…
 “John Muir [also] uses the expression in his writing,“Snow melting into music.” But I knew that snow couldn’t really melt into music. I mean music is something I would want to dance to, or hum all day. Muir must have been using some kind of literary license I told myself. And then I reminded myself that I’ve never listened to snow melt before. So I went up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, made myself do it; I was still convinced that snow would not melt into music. And on a late afternoon I saw this snow field and it was dripping water. I walked over and this is what I heard …”
    [The music of snow melting]
“I mean if you don’t hear the music. It must be in the physics, in the math of the music...So thank you, John Muir.”   
    [Return to the music of snow melting]
    The soundscape featured in today’s show was recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of QuietPlanet.com.

                    ###
Snow melting into music + ambient at Hurricane Ridge - recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of QuietPlanet.com.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org    May 2017   Narrator: Michael Stein    Marantz V Track 92
ID#               hemptong-04-2014-05-26    hemptong-04         

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