Living Sounds


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for the most immersive experience, we recommend wearing headphones

The 24/7 live sounds on this site are a mix of dozens of handmade microphones that have been recording for years in the woods and swamps of a recovering wetland in Plymouth, Massachusetts, called Tidmarsh. In this time of self-isolation and shelter-in-place, those of us in cities find ourselves cut off from nature when we need it most. With Living Sounds, we invite you to join us in a real live restoration symphony.

Formerly a large industrial cranberry farm, Tidmarsh was once managed for productivity. Today, the Mass Audubon Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary is a restoration wetland in the continual process of transformation. Restoration is a change of conditions, new and renewed connections, migration, the flow of clean water.

Over the last 8 years, a team of MIT researchers led by an innovative documentary media-maker has been recording the arc of change at Tidmarsh through dozens of microphones, cameras, and sensors in the air, water, and soil. We call ourselves the Living Observatory, and Our aims are to advance the science of ecological restoration, and to find new ways of telling the story of environmental change and resilience.

The visuals on this site were made by different designers inspired by the living sounds. Together, the sights and sounds are here to change the conditions of our collective isolations, listening together to the unfolding story of a fragile ecosystem taking root.

-Living Sounds

There will be several live performances on Sunday, August 23, 2020 in collaboration with Living Sounds.