Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley
Mississippi River at Pakenham

soundscape

The sounds and rhythms of nature

by Cheryl Morris

On Thursday, January 21, 2016, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will host the fourth presentation of their lecture series which is based on the theme ‘Naturally Special Places’. The event will be held in the Social Hall of Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte, Ontario at 7:30 pm.

Our guest speaker for the evening will be Chad Clifford, and he has entitled his presentation “Exploring the Soundscapes of Naturally Special Places.” Mr. Clifford is a soundscaping specialist and works to record nature’s symphony of sounds. He will provide an introduction to soundscaping including the aesthetic qualities of nature sounds and how nature-based recordings are used in research. A glimpse at Cornell’s Raven Pro software will demonstrate the power of technology in studying the sounds nature provides to those who are intent on listening. Chad will describe some of the common and not-so-common gear used for nature recording, including do-it-yourself options for microphones. Numerous recordings made by the speaker will be played throughout the talk. The presentation will also describe the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust’s efforts to collect data in support of their biological monitoring of properties, a function with which Chad has been intimately involved. As well he will touch on some public education events that are offered by this important group.

Photo by TK Marsh

Photo by TK Marsh

Mr. Clifford is the founder and director of “Wilderness Rhythms”, a  Lanark-based company with a focus on facilitating a deeper appreciation and respect for nature through quality wilderness experiences and the introduction of practical survival priorities – shelter, water, fire and food – plus an awareness of the aesthetic essence that is a part of nature. Mr. Clifford is author of the book “Wilderness Rhythms: Playing Music to Enhance the Nature Experience”. Through this insightful and sensitively-written book, Chad shares his extensive understanding of traditional woods and survival skills and nature lore, as well as his experience of injecting music into nature-based activities. The second section of the book is written in the form of a journal through which the author uncovers how a state of expanded awareness can be reached when one practices within the realm of nature.

Mr. Clifford states, “With the expanding intrusion of the noisy and mechanized world, our natural soundscapes could soon be listed as endangered. How fortunate we are in the Lanark Highlands to still find natural soundscapes where we can attain at least 15 minutes of nature’s voice uninterrupted. Beyond the aesthetics of natural soundscapes, we are collecting hundreds of hours of soundscape data within the protected land trusts of our area.”

Please join MVFN for this informative and fascinating presentation. Refreshments and discussion will follow the talk. There is a non-member fee of $5. For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair, Gretta Bradley at

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FULL-SIZED  CALENDAR WITH DETAILS

Our natural history talks are at 7:30 pm on the third Thursday in January, February, March, April,  September, October and November at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. in Almonte, Ontario. All are welcome to attend! Non-members $5. 

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