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Natural soundscapes by Bernie Krause

The Great Animal Orchestra at the Horniman is a sound installation designed by Bernie Krause, a leading expert in natural sound.

Created from his rare recordings of natural habitats in Borneo, Costa Rica, Sumatra and Zimbabwe, the installation reveals nature's music and its 'orchestra' through Krause’s distinctive spectrograms, offering a visual representation of what can be heard.


Great Animal Orchestra

The installation will feature four soundscapes, lasting 15 minutes each, on a rolling loop from:

  • Biruté Galdakis' orang-utan research site, Camp Leakey, Borneo (dusk)
  • Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica (dawn)
  • Aceh Province, Sumatra (dawn)
  • Mungwezi Ranch, Zimbabwe (dawn)

Animals / species in the soundscapes


  • Gibbons
  • Chestnut-winged babbler
  • Malaysian-eared nightjar
  • Asian paradise flycatcher
  • Various insects with prominent cicadas








Costa Rica

  • Great tinamou
  • Rufous naped wren










  • White-rumped shama
  • Whistling thrush
  • Hornbill
  • Mustached babler
  • Argus pheasant








  • Barred owlet
  • Scops owlet  
  • Natal francolin
  • Freckled Nightjar 
  • Cape turtle dove  
  • Ground hornbill  
  • Egyptian goose 
  • Bearded robin


In all the soundscapes, many examples of insects and amphibians can also be heard.

Bernie Krause

Before becoming an expert in the field of natural sound, Bernie Krause introduced the Moog (a type of synthesiser) to pop music, playing with the likes of Stevie Wonder as well as working extensively in Hollywood on films including Apocalypse Now.

However, his true passion lay with the natural world and for the last 40 years he has concentrated on recording ecological soundscapes. He has archived sounds of over 15,000 species, although sadly over half of these no longer exist because of human actions.

Produced by sounduk

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