Community| 5 min read

Soundscape Ecology with the Founder of

Tune in to nature and learn more about soundscape ecology and it's benefits from Catalin Zorzini, the founder of is a free repository of over 800 immersive nature soundscapes from all over the world.

A non-profit, the community advocates for preserving ecosystems (and their soundscapes) and encouraging people to seek out natural sights and sounds for their own well-being. The website is a resource for entirely free to listen to nature sounds, featuring immersive soundscape playlists. It’s a treasure trove of soothing audio files, fascinating articles, and information.

Catalin Zorzini, the founder of, talks about the inspiration behind and what soundscape ecology can offer.

Q: What inspired you to create, your non-profit?

This idea first came up a few years ago, when I was living in London. And, although London is the greenest capital in Europe, I didn’t often have the energy to go to places where you can feel a strong and gentle natural soundscape enveloping you. Instead, I was listening to nature sounds on YouTube, and they proved to offer a kind of partial relief from my anxiety, depression, possibly ADHD. So I set a goal for when the time was right to create a high-quality library of nature sounds for others like me, who may enjoy living in the city, or have to live in one because of their life situation and are suffering from nature deprivation to some degree. That happened more than two years ago, when we established as a charity, to make it clear that we’re not trying to profit from extracting sounds from Mother Earth.

Catalin Zorzini
Catalin Zorzini (

Q: Why is it important for people to hear the sounds of nature?

I think that it’s a fundamental need, along with eating healthy food, moving enough, getting enough sleep, and caring for our body-mind as well as we can. If we want to live fully, we can’t really do it in isolation from the forest, from the sea, the wind, the butterflies, and all the rest of the Earth. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the financial means to meet many of these fundamental needs, but we discovered that even in the loudest cities in the world, quiet places can still be found.

Q: What is soundscape ecology?

Soundscape is a term we use to determine an audio portrait of a place. And by soundscape ecology, we mean the efforts to protect, preserve, and restore these soundscapes, which means to take care of the natural ecosystems that produce them. One of the pioneers of soundscape ecology is Gordon Hempton. You can check out a short film about his work created by Emergence Magazine.

Cover art by Merve Gencer for’s Forest Rain soundscape (Jan Brelih/

Q: What is an Earth Holder?

Great question! Our project is very much inspired and informed by Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on deep ecology. Many times in his talks about nature, he would mention a Bodhisattva (a Buddhist term that means “Great Being”) called The Earth Holder, whose aspiration is “to preserve this planet for living beings by taking care of the air, water, and soil.” His invitation is for all of us to become Earth Holders. Each one of us can help in our own ways, and when we come together as communities, we can be even more effective.

Q: What does spending time in nature do for you personally?

When I spend time in nature, and I am really present (which is not a given even when living in the countryside), I am reminded that life is infinitely beautiful, complex, and mysterious. And that I am part of that, which is actually quite mind-blowing! It’s also very supportive for my nervous system, being able to drop my daily concerns at least for some moments. It’s a blessing and a luxury. Unfortunately, because living in rural areas is not as affordable as it could be, and most of the time, it’s much more difficult to find jobs compared to people who live in a city. However, when we do find ourselves in nature or simply listen to a recorded soundscape, I invite everyone to learn a bit about deep listening.

Q: What gives you the most hope for the future of the natural world?

Hope seems quite elusive at the moment. Where I find it most easily these days is in nature, observing the resilience of an old tree, for example. The other source of hope is in the teachings of spiritual teachers like Joanna Macy, whose Active Hope and Work that Reconnects, have been an incredible source of resilience and insight for entire generations of activists. I also watch this particular talk offered by Thich Nhat Hanh on the topic of Civilisational Collapse from time to time, as another source of hope and inspiration.

Cover art for's Three Owls soundscape
Cover art by by Merve Gencer for’s Three Owls soundscape (Melissa Pons/

Q: What kind of feedback have you gotten from your community about their experience listening to your soundscapes?

We’ve been learning so much both from the listeners and from the artists in our community. Many of them like to listen to nature sounds in order to focus at work, or calm down after a busy day, some people use our white noise for babies playlists for their children to have a natural background sound to their early years. Others listen together with their elders, who may be bedbound but still enjoy hearing their native sound of birds and crickets and frogs. So far the feedback has been very positive and two of the main requests from people in the community are going to be delivered very soon: the mobile app, and bringing more guided meditations to the library.

Q: What are your favorite soundscapes that you recommend listeners start with?

We currently have over 800 recordings in the library, and we add new ones almost every day. I’m doing my best to keep up, but I haven’t listened to everything yet. One of my all-time favorites is Dreams of Bears, a mother bear with cubs taking a nap and gently snoring on a summer day in the forest. I would also recommend listeners visit our Nature Soundmap and follow their intuition about what they want to listen to. Our playlist page is also a great place for someone new to the platform.

Tune in to Nature

With our Earth Month soundscapes from

We plant trees for every item you purchase, and it’s our mission to plant 1 billion by 2030.

Head to our website to learn more.


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