Gordon Hempton

Gordon Hempton is an acoustic ecologist and Emmy Award-winning sound recordist.  For nearly 25 years he has provided professional audio services to musicians, galleries, museums, and media producers, including Microsoft, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discovery, National Public Radio, and numerous other businesses and organizations. He has received recognition from the Charles A. Lindbergh Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. He studied botany and plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin. His sound portraits, which record quickly vanishing natural soundscapes, have been featured in People Magazine, a national PBS television documentary, "Vanishing Dawn Chorus," which earned him an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement.” Hempton has now circled the globe three times in pursuit of environmental sound portraits. His new audio series--Environmental Sound Portraits--is the first new work to appear in more than a decade. He lives in Port Angeles, WA.

Books by this Author

One Square Inch of Silence


Meet Gordon Hempton

Silence is an endangered species and Gordon Hempton, an Emmy Award-winning acoustic ecologist, is on a coast-to-coast mission to preserve and protect the natural environment from manmade noise.

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. The universe is only half made.—John Muir

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Imagine by John Lennon, Crazy by Willie Nelson, Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix, Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do) by Hank Williams, Please Forgive Me by David Gray

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. That would definitely be John Muir, "Want to go for a long walk?" Hopefully we'd be magically transported to a place in time that was unfamiliar to both of us.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Endurance.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Becoming a father

Author Voices

December 19, 2008

I live on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state in a rural location that affords beautiful views of both snow-capped mountains and wilderness beaches, so when I have time off there is always a choice between the two.  If it weren’t for my surfing buddy Nick Parry, I would probably divide my free time equally, but every Saturday, religiously, rain or shine (or this time of year snow), we turn on the surfer tunes and make the drive along highway 112 that traces the coast of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

It keeps me sane, hanging out with a true friend like Nick who has heard it all and accepts me no matter what I might say.  Our... see more