World Listening Day

This is Passport to Texas

It’s easy to forget how the sounds of nature enrich our well-being, or how some man-made sounds can have the opposite effect. The World Listening Project recognizes these relationships.

08—The World Listening Project is a not for profit organization whose goal is to help people better understand our relationships with the sounds around us.

Dan Godston lives in Chicago and is involved in the World Listening Project. He says Sunday, July 18 is World Listening Day, and one way to observe it is by taking a sound walk in a state park.

05—And a sound walk is where you’re focused on what you hear in your sound scape, your sonic environment.

In parks you might hear birds, rustling leaves, water, buzzing insects, the sound of mountain bikes whizzing by, people’s voices, and the crunch of a hiking trail beneath your feet.

Traffic, the clanging and growling of industry and manufacturing, and the thumping bass of car stereos heard from blocks away, are also part of the sonic environment, and often considered sound pollution. Just as bright city lights obscure our view of stars in the night sky, excessive man-made sounds muffle our ability to connect with the natural world.

10—As stewards of this planet, we should try to be careful about what’s happening to biodiversity, and certainly, I think, having the range of sounds relates to that.

We have a collection of sounds at, and instructions for making a sound map. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.


Noé Cuéllar is a sound designer, photographer, and curator originally from Laredo, Texas, who currently lives in Chicago. He worked on a project called “Prairie Mountain Soundscape” for which Chicago-based anthropologist Lise McKean commissioned him to compose a soundscape of Chicago’s both natural and urban sounds. The podcast is above.

“Prairie Mountain Soundscape” is a sound journey through the evaporation and condensation of Chicago’s sound environment, where the audible embodies urban and natural landscapes.
– Noé Cuéllar


What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Clipboard, tablet or something to write on
  • Something to write with like a pencil or pen


  1. Find a comfortable spot to sit outdoors
  2. Mark an “X” in the center of the paper. This shows YOU on the map
  3. Close your eyes and listen for at least one minute. Listen for sounds from animals, birds, people and other activities
  4. Keep listening, but now draw pictures or symbols on the map representing all the sounds you hear, and where they are coming from
  5. At the top of your page, write down the date, time and where you were (school yard, park, etc.)

What Did You Discover?
Did you hear something from each direction around you?
Could you hear at least 10 different sounds?
Could you identify all the sounds you heard?
If you did this with a friend, compare your maps!

Stuff to Think About:
What would happen if you sat somewhere else?
What would be different at another time of day?
Another season?

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