Morning Has Broken

I am not particularly religious, but I do consider nature, in all its manifestations, to be a miracle. It matters little to me if God made it, if it sprang from primordial soup and evolved, or if God stirred the soup. What we find when we are born into life is nothing short of miraculous. As Albert Enstein so clearly stated: "There are only two … [Read more...]

Mole in the Ground

I just stumbled upon a traditional American folk tune called "Mole in the Ground." It was written and sung by banjo player Bascom Lamar Lumsford in 1928 and has been performed by hundreds if not thousands of old time musicians in the years since. I like this song because some of the lyrics refer to animals, and it kicks off with the mole: "I wish … [Read more...]

Spring is Here!

O Frabjous Day, Callooh! Callay! We chortle with joy 'cause SPRING IS HERE (well, not quite yet) and greenly spirits leap the trees while birdies sing. We shout the infinite, natural YES!—touching, hearing, seeing, breathing, as banjo strings its true blue song to spring: What else is there to say? Banjo © Richie Stearns. Nature recording … [Read more...]

Greenly Thrush

A Tribute to F. Schuyler Mathews

For those who can read music, the Field Book of Wild Birds and their Music by composer and naturalist F. Schuyler Mathews is a real treat (the book was first published in 1904). Mathews worked very hard at converting the songs of our native birds into musical nomenclature, with varying degrees of success. One species with songs that translated … [Read more...]

Syrinx – Flûte de Pan

I've been invited to participate in a "Nature and Music Festival" in mid-February in Wheeling WV, sponsored by the Oglebay Institute and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. I will be giving a talk entitled "The Music of Nature: Soundscape Recordings as Art Forms." I'm also hoping to collaborate with the Orchestra, or select musicians, to do a mix or … [Read more...]

Cello and Chuckwills

Here is a bit of a surprise for everyone. This is a prototype collaboration with my friend and consummate cellist Hank Roberts. Several years ago, Hank visited my studio and selected a soundscape that he liked—an insect chorus graced by the songs of Chuck-will's-widows, which I had recorded in Florida. Hank took my recording to his home studio and … [Read more...]

Water Speaking Water

Last autumn, I participated in a sustainability conference sponsored by The Finger Lakes Bioneers. I was asked to create an artistic rendering of water in high definition video and sound. The result was a three-part video called "Water Speaking Water" that features music by my friends Samite Mulondo (playing kalimba, and African thumb piano) and … [Read more...]