Earth’s Wild Music: Kathleen Dean Moore

“Sound is vibration. Music is sound organized in time. The universe trembles with wild music. Who would not tremble with wonder?”?
–Kathleen Dean Moore, Earth’s Wild Music

At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore’s distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change.

In this meditation on the music of the natural world, Moore celebrates the call of loons, howl of wolves, bellow of whales, laughter of children, and shriek of frogs, even as she warns of the threats against them. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment and finally to the determination to act in defense of wild songs and the creatures who sing them.

Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life ongoing. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save nature’s songs?

Upon the open page of Kathleen Dean Moore’s Earth’s Wild Music, the rhythm of existence unfolds, and each chord strikes the heart with the resounding echo of the world’s unsung symphony. This work, like the mesmerizing whisper of leaves in the wind, invites the reader to an orchestra of life, where every creature contributes to the grand harmony of existence.

From the hum of the bumblebee, which casts delicate sonnets into the summer air, to the ancient echo of glaciers calving their sorrows into the sea, “Earth’s Wild Music” listens for the melodies woven into the natural world. Like a celestial composer, Moore records the symphony of existence, turning the cacophony of life into a chorus of connection. She translates these wordless hymns into a language we can understand, reminding us of our membership in the mystical choir of existence.

Every chapter is a verse in the earth’s song, every sentence, a melody. Moore, like a maestro, leads us through a wild sonata of senses, painted in colors of sound. She crafts her sentences with the grace of a river, each word a droplet in a cosmic sea, and navigates us through the resounding echo of our planet’s wild music, unifying us with nature’s song.

In Earth’s Wild Music, Moore becomes a scribe of the wind, the waves, and the wilderness. She tunes into the primal rhythm, the heartbeat of the Earth. She invites us to listen, to understand that these aren’t just sounds — they are conversations, stories being told, histories being recounted, and futures being forecasted.

“Ms. Moore sees and hears much, and she writes about it beautifully . . . With each new book—and the passage of years—Ms. Moore’s view grows longer and wider, though it always brings the focus back to a vivid and vital sense of connection.”
––Danny Heitman, The Wall Street Journal

Through the pages of this sonic journey, we are led to understand the ethereal connection between ourselves and the world around us, the mystical web spun from the loom of existence. We realize that each sound – from the thunderous applause of the waterfall to the subtle sigh of a falling leaf – carries a message. And in that message, we find an interdependent symphony, where each note depends on the other, a harmony made whole by the sum of its parts.

Earth’s Wild Music sings to us, in a language older than words, a testament of the world’s intricate tapestry of sound. Moore’s work is a hymn of awareness, a serenade to our sense of belonging in this great, humming concert of life. We are not separate observers, but integral musicians in this wild orchestra, and to read her work is to relearn our part in the symphony.

Her poetic exploration is an ode to the Earth’s wild music, an entreaty to preserve the harmony of the natural world, and an invitation to join the grand symphony of existence. It is a melody we have forgotten, a rhythm lost in the cacophony of progress. Yet, in Earth’s Wild Music, the song remains, etched into the very fabric of life, waiting for us to listen, to participate, to reconnect. Earth’s Wild Musicis a refrain of unity, a ballad of interconnectedness, and a testament to the world’s untamed, unending, unyielding song inviting us to listen towith, and as the Earth herself.

Purchase the book from Counter Point Press

Kathleen Dean Moore is the author or co-editor of many books about our moral and emotional bonds to the wild, reeling world, including Wild Comfort, Moral Ground, and Great Tide Rising. She is the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Association Award and the Oregon Book Award, along with the WILLA Literary Award for her novel Piano Tide. A philosopher and activist, Moore writes from Corvallis, Oregon and Chichagof Island, Alaska.


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