On October 7, 2018 biologist and nature sound recordist Walter Tilgner received an honorary lifetime membership in the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). As one of the keynote speakers in The Global Composition 2018 conference on sound, ecology, and media culture, Tilgner gave an impressive presentation titled, “Listen to Nature.” Upon its conclusion, WFAE President, Eric Leonardson presented the honor:
Dear Walter, On behalf of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology in recognition of your lifetime of achievement in nature sound recording, for the great contribution this makes in scientific research and public enjoyment both, we would like to honor you as an Honorary WFAE member. I hope you accept our offer and thanks and enjoy being a member of our global network.
Born 1934 in the town of Olomouc, now a part of the Czech Republic, Tilgner worked as an ornithologist and photographer since the 1950s. From 1981 until 2012 he was employed at the Bodensee-Naturmuseum in Konstanz, Germany. Now in retirement Tilgner remains active raising awareness on the changing soundscape of Europe's natural environments.
Tilgner’s earliest published tape recordings date from the 1970s. With the advent of digital recording and Neumann microphones for binaural recording, in the late 1980s he achieved his long sought goal of producings recordings of great spatial depth and clarity representing the rich fabric of wildlife in the forests, lakes, marshes, and meadows of the region. His stunning recordings are part of the Programmarchiv of the European Acoustic Heritage project. Many of Tilgner’s other historic releases are in WERGO's Natural Sound series. A self-help book for hearing loss and related disorders, including a CD with Tilgner's audio recordings, is titled, Hören im Gleichgewicht (Listening in Balance), published by Vesalius Verlag. To order this book, to listen and to learn more, visit Tilgner’s website where you can also link to his recordings on Spotify and iTunes.