Juan Pablo Culasso
Jaun Pablo recording Lakeo Superior, USA Author: Juan Culasso
2024

Juan Pablo Culasso

Bioacoustic Engineer & Accessibility Advocate

natures voices

meet juan pablo

Juan Pablo Culasso, a Uruguayan Nature Recordist, has dedicated his career to exploring and capturing nature’s sounds for about 20 years. Trained at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil under Jacques Vielliard, and in Nature Sound Recording at Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab, his expertise is unparalleled. In 2014, his passion and skill in bird song identification won him the first edition of National Geographic’s “Supercerebros.” His portfolio, a blend of collaborative, commissioned, and personal projects, showcases his commitment to nature conservation and environmental education. He has over 12 years of experience in managing and instructing assistive technology for the visually impaired and consulting on inclusive ecotourism projects, web accessibility, and educational workshops, making his work a privilege that enriches both nature and society.

natures voices
Nominated by: Milbry Polk, MED' 95
Class of 2024 Location Uruguay
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Juan Pablo recording sounds at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Juan Pablo recording sounds at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina Author: Juan Culasso

On a typical Uruguayan summer day, January 16th, 2003, I pressed the “REC” button on a recorder for the first time, capturing the song of a kingfisher. This simple act was driven by an innate sensitivity to sounds around me due to my blindness and rich musical education, and it sparked a lifelong passion for the acoustics of nature. However, my dream of pursuing a degree in Biology was never fulfilled due to the challenges and prejudices faced by visually impaired individuals in professional environments, especially in Latin America. Despite the barriers I faced, my work in nature sound recording has become more than a job – it has become an art form.

As I capture dynamic “sound photographs” of nature’s diverse melodies, I am always searching for the most well-preserved areas to be recorded. This journey has taught me the power of listening, capturing the essence of environments from the Antarctic to the Amazon, and sharing these soundscapes with the world. My work is pushing the boundaries of exploration by redefining it as a multisensory experience. Through the diverse sounds of the earth , I am expanding the definition of exploration beyond the visual. This approach not only enriches our understanding of the world but also highlights the importance of sound in experiencing and conserving our planet’s diverse ecosystems. Through my work, I aim to foster a deeper, more inclusive appreciation of the natural world, encouraging a shift from mere observation to immersive, multisensory exploration. It’s a mission that transcends professional achievements, advocating for a deeper connection with and conservation of our natural world.

“I dream of a world where people are more attuned to the sounds of the earth, understanding their significance, their importance and fighting to protect them.”

- Juan Pablo Culasso
Recording Dry Forest at Alto Paraguay
Recording Dry Forest at Alto Paraguay Author: Sara Colmenares

For over two decades, I have dedicated my career to recording and disseminating the sounds of nature. I trained at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil, alongside the renowned curator of the neotropical sound archive, Jacques Vielliard. Additionally, I have training as a Nature Sound Recordist from the Ornithology Lab of Cornell University, USA. As a sound recordist exploring nature’s sounds, my passion is to capture the beautiful and unique sounds of our environment. In a world where nature is often forgotten or harmed, these recordings remind us of what we could lose. They’re not just sounds; they’re the voices of places that need our protection. I’ve been recording the sounds of different habitats, from the rainforest to the antarctic, and today, after all that time, I sadly have to say that some of the pristine soundscapes I recorded do not exist anymore.

One of the most important dimensions of my work is making nature accessible to everyone, especially those who can’t see. I create sound experiences that bring the beauty of nature to people with visual impairments. This part of my job is really special to me because it helps everyone experience the wonders of nature. I hope that in the future, my recordings will help in both scientific research and environmental education. I dream of a world where people are more attuned to the sounds of the earth, understanding their significance, their importance and fighting to protect them. I think my efforts will continue to foster a global community that values and actively participates in the conservation of our planet’s acoustic biodiversity. This way, we can make sure our world is filled with not just beautiful sights but also beautiful sounds for everyone to enjoy.

 

never stop exploring

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