2022 | United States | Documentary

The Last of the Nightingales

  • English 32 mins
  • Director | Masha Karpoukhina
  • Writer | Masha Karpoukhina
  • Producer | Rose Wyatt, Hassan Said

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In the late 1960’s Bernie Krause was a prolific composer & a foley artist who pioneered synthesizers and worked with industry giants such as Francis Ford Coppola, the Doors, and the Rolling Stones, but after one chance encounter with the sounds of the wilderness, he chose to change his career path in life, setting out to gather wild field recordings to help battle the climate crisis using acoustic information. Over half a century later, his vast archive of captured soundscapes reflects dire habitat devastation in the world, yet also yields urgent stories about the need for immediate change. In October of 2017, Bernie saw the face of global warming and it was on his front porch. As the wildfires completely ravaged his home and recording studio of many years, Bernie and his wife, Kat barely escaped with their lives that night. Struck by the tragic and intimate immediacy of climate change, their message has become ever more urgent, yet still, filled with hope. “The Last of the Nightingales'' invites the audience to experience the rich acoustic beauty of the living world through Bernie’s ears, exceptionally attuned over decades and reconnect with that world before it fades right in front of us. Well over half of the ecosystems recorded in Bernie’s immense archive are now completely silent or will never be heard in their original voice again due to the profound effect climate change has had on the stability, biodiversity, and resilience of virtually all ecosystems on Earth. But what happens when nature becomes the teacher and the soundscapes, our Rosetta Stone, in helping us decipher her mysteries and invaluable clues? As more and more soundscapes fall silent, Bernie reminds us that it is not too late to begin listening.

acoustic ecology climate crisis climate change Bernie Krause the art of listening anthropophony biophony Masha Karpoukhina