Sound Installations In The Estonian Forest Amp Up Nature’s Ambient Soundtrack

Chirping crickets, croaking frogs, and the cracking branches compose the chorus of sounds you normally encounter in the woods. But students at the Estonian Academy think adding 10-foot-wide megaphones that amplify the ambient hums of the forest can focus your attention and heighten the experience. It’s like a sensory-depravation chamber: Remove one sense and the others become stronger.

Standing outside the Forest Megaphones, they direct sound to the center of a clearing; standing inside one of the structures puts you up close and personal with nature’s acoustics.

In addition to the aural effect, the Forest Megaphones offer a sheltered spot for hikers to chill out and take in the scenery. Plus, they fall into the great tradition of architectural follies.

The Estonian author Valdur Mikita sums up her mission in a news release: “It’s a place to listen, to browse the audible book of nature—there hasn’t really been a place like that in Estonia before.”