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About Hear The Forest

Hear The Forest is an effort to initiate the process of building an aural-map – essentially, an audio time capsule – of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.  Supported by the National Forest Service and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, this work will be performed by Berklee College of Music Professor, Steve Wilkes, as part of the 2017 Artist-in-residence program.

Furthermore, the hope is to make this a sustainable effort by putting in place the means for the public — residents and visitors, hikers, campers, picnickers, fishermen, loggers, mountain bikers, forest planners, ecosystems managers, bear biologists, etc. – to continue the work in future years.

In addition to his field ecology and sound recording work, Wilkes will offer several public programs, including workshops that will provide residents and visitors with information on contributing to the ongoing sound file collection on the White Mountain NF.

“I am in awe of this opportunity to immerse myself in the act of listening to a National Forest,” he says. “I cannot imagine a more diverse and inspiring soundscape. I hope to be able to express and communicate to others this profound sense of inspiration – and to help everyone slow down a bit, and really listen.”

Steve Wilkes: Producer, Artist-in-residence
David Masher: Web design and development



White Mountain National Forest

The White Mountain National Forest

The White Mountain National Forest in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine ranges from mountainous hardwood forests to majestic alpine peaks. Come experience the breathtaking scenery, clear mountain lakes and streams, wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities year round.

Mead Base Conservation Center

Mead Base is the southernmost entry to the WMNF.  The Base includes an old farmhouse, several outbuildings and cabins and three campsites on 11 acres. Friends of Mead Base Conservation Center, through a lease from the US Forest Service, preserves and maintains this historic property for the public’s use.

Hear the Forest Blog

16Aug 17

Some More Thoughts and a Fresh Blog

My first three weeks in the forest have passed. I’m not sure how it’s possible that so many memorable experiences and encounters can seem like a like such a high-speed blur. But, it’s true: those three weeks went by very quickly for me and now it's on to the next phase. Two places have been strongly anchored in my mind, and I wanted to write about each of these before too much more time passes. Fletcher’s Cascades (or “Fletcher Cascades” as it might appear on a Google map): After hiking up and recording the falls, my wife and I began the descent back to Drake’s Brook Trail and encountered absolutely no one on our exit route. The afternoon sun was beginning to wane and the forest took on the quality of a beauty I can only call "transcendent." Walking the trail was like being mildly spellbound. I remember thinking, “this might be the most beautiful place I’ve yet seen in the forest!” I do think that this location is a bit under the radar, esp. when you consider that iconic spots like Rocky Gorge and Sabbaday Falls are within an hour, or so, drive. I will only state that this spot is certainly worth seeking out should you be driving through Waterville Valley. (Two recordings of the lower falls are posted on the Map Index: an above-water recording crossfades into an underwater – hydrophone – recording.) Greeley Ponds: This is the quietest spot I’ve visited thus far. I think I was super lucky in that very few people were hiking the trail that day, despite some of the best weather of the summer. The stillness at the northern-most pond was magic. And, the recording that is posted on the Map Index tries to convey this with a lone crow, a…

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