Gordon Hempton

The Port Angeles “acoustic ecologist” will discuss his memoir/manifesto, One Square Inch of Silence, also the name of his proposed preserve along the Hoh River in Olympic National Park. He'll also undoubtedly play some of his recordings made en route during his 60-day road trip across the U.S. to document the decline of silence and lobby federal officials to make quiet a greater priority in our national parks. That trip provides the framework for his book (co-authored by magazine writer John Grossman), which includes many fascinating roadside tutorials on sound--how it's created, relayed, and amplified in the natural world. Though Hempton's battles with the National Parks Service and FAA verge on the Kaczynski-an, his book is tremendously valuable for reminding us that what we can’t hear has already been lost from our habitat. Songbirds have already changed their songs because of our urban din (or “grime”). Our own biological adaptation is likely underway, too, and not for the better. BRIAN MILLER

Tue., April 14, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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