Amazon Dreams

Amazon Dreams cover photo

AMAZON DREAMS celebrates the extraordinary soundscape heard deep in the Peruvian rainforest. By day, the towering forest is alive with the songs of tinamous, toucans, motmots, nunbirds, titi monkeys, and a host of other species, set against a rich backdrop of insect sounds. By night, the frogs and owls come into their own, gracing both forest and swamp with captivating, otherworldly sounds.

10 tracks, 83 mins. (Compact Disc Version available here)

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photo of Lang ElliottNotes by Lang Elliott: In 2002, Ted Mack and I journeyed to the Amazon through a tour company affiliated with Project Amazonas. In early January, we flew to Lima and and then on to Iquitos, a bustling but isolated little city that is a trade center for native indians living downriver (the nearest “city” to the east is Manaus, Brazil, a whopping 1000 miles away!).

Boarding a small houseboat that reminded me of a king-sized African Queen, we motored downriver nearly 100 miles and then spent a week exploring three different forest reserves located along tributaries of the Amazon (see map below for our general location). This was the real thing, “Amazon Rainforest” at its best, pristine, unlogged, and full of wildlife. My only complaint was the humidity. I made the mistake of bringing cotton T-shirts that immediately became waterlogged with sweat whenever I set out on the trails (next time I’ll use space-age fabrics guaranteed to keep me dry).

Discomfort aside, Ted and I got beautiful recordings. Most of the time, we had no idea what bird or frog we were recording. While we’ve managed to identify many of the singers, others still remain a mystery, awaiting identification by some knowledgeable ornithologist or herpetologist who downloads this title! As for the plethora of insect musicians … who the heck could possibly identify them?

The recordings speak for themselves, or rather the rainforest creatures speak for themselves, and for the forest as a whole. Truly, there is nothing else like it on the face of the earth, and we should do everything possible to make sure it is not logged into oblivion.

Acknowledgment: Many thanks to ornithologist Devon Graham of Project Amazonas for helping us identify many of the bird and frog sounds. A well-rounded naturalist, Devon was the “bird expert” during our trip.

Product Details:
Title: Amazon Dreams
Type: Pure Nature Soundscapes (stereo/binaural)
Length: 10 tracks, 83 minutes
Format: MP3 (256kbps) and FLAC digital downloads, On-demand Compact Disc
Download File Name: amazon_dreams.zip (153 megabytes); amazon_dreams_flac.zip (503 megabytes)
Date Published: February 2013
Recordists: Lang Elliott and Ted Mack
Copyright: “Amazon Dreams” © 2013 Lang Elliott, NatureSound Studio, All Rights Reserved (note: each track is individually copyrighted by the person who recorded the track).

6 Responses to “Amazon Dreams”

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  1. C. Taylor says:

    we lived in Yarinacocha, not far from Pulcalpa for a year, so nice to hear the night sounds that put us to sleep that year, no problem with our three children falling to sleep. Our house had only walls of screens with 3 ft. wood knee walls, a tin roof with a large over hang to keep out the rain, the rain forest sounds poured into our house day and night. I haven’t heard those melodies for years. thank you.

  2. Dr. James Remsen Jr. says:

    I understand the problem with keeping physical inventory of discs. The nature/environmental genre is a niche market, and getting discs to sell is a problem. I notice that even the venerable Cornell Lab seems to have stopped issuing new titles on CD, and is going the download route for the future.

    Based on the high standards set by your past CD productions, I for one would buy anything you put out in any format, even if download is the only option.

    Still, I do want to try hearing these new titles on my home theatre system, so I plan on burning them to CD eventually. I usually burn audio CDs, but may try data discs to conserve space, and since my DVD and Blu-ray players should be able to handle the files.

    • Lang Elliott says:

      I’m also thinking about offering FLAC versions, which would be CD quality, but the download size per title increases from around 140 megabytes (for our MP3 versions) to about 450 megabytes. That’s a big jump, but audiophiles definitely like FLAC. Again, I have no idea what the demand actually is, although a friend who has experience with this says about 25% of his customers choose FLAC over MP3 when both are offered together.

      It’s really not that hard for me to provide FLAC versions. My worry, though, is that offering FLAC as a choice would confuse most people and some might inadvertently buy a FLAC version and then be clueless as to what to do with it.

  3. Dr. James Remsen Jr. says:

    No comments on this one yet I see. This is the first of the new Music of Nature releases that I’ve been listening to. Now I have to confess, I am still very attached to my physical media (even as my storage space is now bursting at the seams with CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs). So while I have purchased downloaded content, I don’t have as much of that as I do physical media.

    Nonetheless, I have to report that the sound quality on this collection is very fine indeed. I listened to about half the album on earbuds, and put more of it on in my car (via iPhone) while driving home from a party this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by how immersive it is, even on standard speakers.

    Instant rainforest in my car, on this winter day! That is worth the download, easily.

    • Lang Elliott says:

      James:

      Glad you like it! And by listening with earbuds, you’re getting the full binaural effect of my recording technique.

      I’m hoping to add the option of ordering CDs within the next few months. But to avoid dealing with physical inventory, I will probably use Amazon’s “Createspace” service, where CDs would be made and shipped “on demand,” right after ordering.

      A big question, of course, is what percentage of interested customers would prefer a CD version, and, more importantly, how many of these same customers will decide not to buy the digital download at all, even if it is the only version available to them.

      No doubt I am already losing some business by not currently offering the physical CD option.

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