Renowned acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton has declared that there are only, at most, 12 places in the US where one can go without hearing any human caused noise. Hempton records soundscapes and has travelled across the world three separate times to capture the sounds and rhythms of nature.
Hempton lives in the Northwestern part of Washington state, very near to Olympic National Park. His work includes the documentary Soundtracker: A Portrait of Gordon Hempton, more than 50 soundscape albums available for download on iTunes, an adventurous and brave narrative entitled One Square Inch of Silence, and many other interviews and lectures.
Hempton’s passion is to record and find places that are quiet. The quiet which he sets out to capture is not silence, as some might assume, but rather the quiet that is created by the sound of pure nature, void of any and all manmade noise. Hempton considers a location to be quiet if he can listen to the sounds of nature without any manmade interruptions for 15 minutes. His work has caused him to state that there may only be twelve of these quiet places left in the continental United States, although ten is the more likely number.