LES OTHERS VOL.XIII MAGAZINE - Audio. More than just an online or print publication, Les Others is first and foremost a community. A community of adventure, fresh air and nature lovers.
"You had me bawling my eyes out." That's what a certain "henri2nad" shared on social media after listening to Le Pacte du Loup, an episode of our podcast Les Baladeurs. In this first-hand account, wildlife photographer Jérémie Villet recounted his quest to find the elusive Canadian lynx in the snow-covered Yukon Territory, a creature he had dreamed of immortalizing for years. But Mother Nature had other plans in store for him, offering him instead a few days in the company of a magnificent Alaskan wolf, and a heart-wrenching finale.
The ample feedback we received after this installment of the series aired joins the ranks of an already long list of comments about the show. We read of "overwhelmed" listeners who were "scared", "hungry", "shivering in (their) beds", some even with "no tears left to shed" after listening. We swear, we're not exaggerating.This colorful language reveals a simple truth: in order to authentically convey the emotions experienced during these intimate and singular adventures, the podcast format is second to none.
This might seem counterintuitive, as the beauty and lushness of the wild worlds in which these stories are set seem better suited to a visual medium. And yet, audio takes the lead, time after time. That's the power of the human voice for you. Each speaker's unique and intimate timbre, combined with their silences and hesitations, strike a sensitive, universal chord. Sound design and musical composition then step in to throw the doors of the imagination wide open, promising a world without limits to whoever wishes to hear it. But this special formula would not be complete without the main ingredient: the recent changes in how we use sound, following new developments in technology. Relegated to live in the shadow of the images for decades, audio is now experiencing a comeback. From virtual assistant and podcasts to audio-only social media platforms, some even speak of a veritable audio revolution.
That's all the motivation we needed to dive in headfirst and inspect every possible angle of the overlapping worlds of sound waves and the outdoors. And we're so glad did: from the amateur radio operator hikers who practice SOTA, an acronym for Summits on the Air, scaling mountains in order to transmit their messages (page→237) to the Golden Records, a gold-plated vinyl flung into outer space by NASA in the hopes of encountering extraterrestrial life (page→66), there's so much to explore. Somewhere between those two tales, we pulled back the curtain on nature documentary sound effects artists (page→132) and dug through the archives of the French Everest 78 expedition, the first ascent on the Roof of the World broadcast live over the radio (page→161). Along the way, we discarded all the beeping devices that oppress us on a daily basis, for a cellphone-free journey from Paris to Brest on foot (page→87) and cherished all those that save our lives, trapped unlearn avalanche in the Swiss Alps (page→31). Finally, after exploring the oral traditions of the Atlas Mountains (page→198), we spoke with Sylvain Haupert, an engineer at the CNRS and a member of the EAR project, who records the sounds of nature in order to map out soundscapes ans better protect them (page→217).
A powerful logic emerged from this interview, revealing the idea behind this entire volume; the era of audio will not be possible without an accompanying era of listening. To our planet, to each other, to ourselves. Has the time for listening arrived?
- Travel journal, photographic series, essays, interviews, …
- Bilingual magazine (French + English text at the end of the magazine )
Les Others join the 1% FOR THE PLANET program since 2017, a corporate network committed to offer 1% of the annual sales revenue to organizations engaged to protect the environment. onepercentfortheplanet.org