Into a Wild Sanctuary: A Life in Music and Natural Sound

Bernie Krause, Author, Bernard L. Krause, Author
Bernie Krause, Author, Bernard L. Krause, Author Heyday Books $23.5 (200p) ISBN 978-1-890771-15-7
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
While most readers will not have heard of Krause, they surely have heard his work. A pioneer of the synthesizer who worked with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and who has contributed to the soundtracks for Apocalypse Now and other major movies, Krause is also the world's most accomplished student and recorder of natural sound. He has recorded gorillas at Diane Fosse's camp in Rwanda, orangutans in Sumatra, polar bears in Alaska, and ants in the desert of the American Southwest. He is a fascinating blend of musician and naturalist, and his book teems with engaging accounts of his outdoor adventures and epiphanies he's experienced. It is also, unfortunately, filled with a lot of mundane detail about his music-biz career and with powerfully felt but tritely expressed environmentalist convictions. The book's strength lies in Krause's experience of the natural world: many writers write of how being in the wild hones their senses, and Krause is a virtuoso of hearing. The problem is that, even for the best of writers, translating sound into prose is a tall order, and Krause is not the best of writers. Yet, even if he doesn't succeed in making a reader hear what he himself hears, no one can come away from this book without admiring--and perhaps envying--his gift of aural perception and the intriguing worldview he has fashioned from it. 30 b&w photos, not seen by PW. (Dec.)
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