A new kind of opensource sound library is being built and this one is all about keeping it quiet. 

Ever wonder if the great outdoors sounds the same everywhere? This new project might help us find out. The "Sounds of the Forest" is a growing collection of sounds recorded in the woodlands and forests of the world, and each sound is recorded and submitted by a nature lover who personally visited that location.

The idea for a library of forest sounds came out of the annual Timber Festival held in the UK National Forest, a celebration of the forest and sustainable development. The three-day event celebrates the human connection to trees through music and art and ideas. This year's event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the organizers wanted to find a way to continue to celebrate the forest. So, the idea to create the first-ever forest sound map of the world was born—and the results have been stunning so far. 

Check out this sample recording from Quabbin Reservation, Massachusetts, USA:

Hundreds of forest recordings have been uploaded, and anyone who wants to submit their own can learn how on timberfestival.org.uk. Please include a picture of the forest with the recording, so that those listening may also visualize the place. Artists will be creating works inspired by the sounds they hear in the recordings; those works will be presented at next year’s festival. 

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company and a partner of the Timber Festival, said:

“Now more than ever, we want to encourage everyone to experience the transformational power of forests and trees. Recording a sound can share your woodland with the world, giving us an escape into nature and bringing us all closer together.”

This is truly a unique way to spend a virtual day somewhere else and see and hear other parts of the world. There is nothing more relaxing than a walk in nature and exploring a new place through sound is an innovative and unique way to celebrate the natural world. This is similar to another concept the Window Swap, which allows viewers to spend time looking out the window of other people, who have share recordings of what they see when they look outside.

What do you think about all this? Sound off in the comments.