This is 42 minutes long, downloading it to an MP3 player and listening quietly will give you a better sense of not only the place but the idea and story that goes with this recording. This has been edited to take out bumps and clicks from the rain hitting the mics.
Sound can tell us many things, this was something I promised myself I would do. The Deep Green philosopher, Earth activist and supporter of Deep Ecology, David Orton was a friend and mentor to me for many years. He died yesterday (May 12th 2011) after a lifetime fighting for the Earth.
Like Arne Naess, the founder of Deep Ecology, David believed that the richness of his life came from a deep spiritual relationship with the Earth and not from monetary values. He lived simply, gardened and worked towards developing the theory of left biocentrism within the Deep Ecology movement, he opposed and publicly spoke out about deforestation, uranium mining, herbicide spraying, social justice issues, sealing and many other problems that face the continuing survival of all sentient beings we share the Earth with. David set the bar high for others working towards a better world, he was uncompromising and challenging, but above all, he had a deep rooted integrity that could not be shaken, his written work will echo down the generations for many years.
The recording comes from the day after he died, within sight of his family home on an old farm that has now grown up to being wild again. I had initially gone there this morning to make a ‘perfect’ recording, but somehow David has had the last say. A freight train, carrying the materials of industrial society, reared its self into the dawn chorus. As I sat there I felt as if it was a motif for how we are exploiting every corner of the earth in our quest for growth and consumerism. But there is a catch, if you take the time to listen, you will find that the train disappears, it becomes a distant hum and the morning chorus takes over in the quiet of the rainy dawn, finally fading, another metaphor and a reminder we shall all return to the earth.
One of David's quotes goes like this, “"Most of the people I work with did not come to their positions based on reading deep ecology books, or listening to university lectures, or having worked out some philosophical position which is perfectly logical and consistent."
What he is saying here, is that if we want to live deeply and peacefully, to understand our place in the world with love and compassion, then we need to make a connection with the Earth, we can only do this by spending time with it.
If you look at the track photo you can see Davids home off in the mist, this was the next morning chorus after he had died the previous morning.
In the recording you can hear the American Bittern, Spring Peepers, Swamp Sparrow, Raven, Mourning Dove, gentle wind, rain and Davids dog Lucy! This recording can be downloaded. To read about Davids life you can visit his blog below, which has links to his written work.
For The Earth
(He signed every email with this!)
released May 27, 2011