Lang Elliott – Brief Professional Biography

photo of Lang Elliott with his parabolic microphoneLang Elliott earned his M.S. in Animal Behavior and Ecology from the University of Maryland in 1976, his master’s thesis focusing on the social behavior and foraging ecology of the eastern chipmunk (Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, Number 265, 1978). After spending over a decade in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York teaching natural history courses and pursuing other endeavors, Lang moved to Ithaca, New York, and formed NatureSound Studio in 1989, a small business dedicated to creating products and services featuring the sounds of our native birds, frogs, insects, and mammals.

In the twenty years since forming his business, Lang has traveled widely gathering sound recordings and has authored numerous audio compact discs and books with CDs that feature the sounds of nature (see list below). His products and recordings have been purchased and enjoyed by at least a quarter million people, and likely many more. He has also become a premiere source of nature sound recordings for use in science and nature museums, nature centers, movies, and variety of third party products.

photo showing various books by Lang ElliottNotably, Lang authored, mastered, and provided most of the field recordings for the well-known Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region (Time Warner AudioBooks, 1997). This three compact disc set has been the gold-standard reference guide to eastern and central North American bird songs and calls for over a decade, and has trained a generation of avid young birders characterized by their extraordinary ability to recognize birds by their sounds.

Partnering with Houghton Mifflin Company in the late 1990s, Lang has designed, packaged, authored or co-authored, and provided field recordings and photographs for five books accompanied by audio compact dics, including Common Birds and Their Songs (1998—nearly 100,000 sold!), Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song (1999; currently out-of-print but still available used and new), The Songs of Wild Birds (2006), The Songs of Insects (2007), and most recently The Frogs and Toads of North America (spring 2009).

Lang also has also authored six titles with Stackpole Books, all of which include compact discs featuring his sound recordings: Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 1 (2004), Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 2 (2004), The Calls of Frogs and Toads (2004), A Guide to Night Sounds (2004), A Guide to Wildlife Sounds (2005), and The Calls of Ducks and Geese (2008).

In addition to his own productions, Lang recently organized a world-class collection of bird song and call recordings made by himself and several partner-recordists. These recordings are featured on the new AudubonGuides.com web site, as well as on Audubon’s iPhone application for birds. They are also featured on the new Sibley Guide to Birds application for the iPhone. In addition, Lang’s recordings grace the new Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds (Collins, 2008).

After two decades of steady productivity and considerable influence in the field of nature sound education, Lang has now expanded the scope his work to a more general nature study theme. Along these lines, Lang has founded Music of Nature, Inc., dedicated to celebrating “nature near at hand,” with a focus on our native birds, frogs & toads, insects, reptiles, and mammals.

Lang has also embraced high definition video and is now moving aggressively to the internet where his background in natural history coupled with his artistic talent and technical expertise will allow him to direct the creation of The Music of Nature website, musicofnature.org, the perfect springboard for sharing the resources and knowledge he and his collaborators have accumulated over the years.
References:

Elliott, L. 1978. Social Behavior and Foraging Ecology of the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) in the Adirondack Mountains. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, Number 265. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press.

Elliott, L. (with Donald and Lillian Stokes). 1997. Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region. New York, New York: Time Warner AudioBooks.

Elliott, L., Read. M. 1998. Common Birds and Their Songs. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Elliott, L. 1999. Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Elliott, L. 2004. Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 1. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1991 by NatureSound Studio).

Elliott, L. 2004. Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 2. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1991 by NatureSound Studio).

Elliott, L. 2004. The Calls of Frogs and Toads. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1992 by NatureSound Studio).

Elliott, L. 2004. A Guide to Night Sounds. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1993 by NatureSound Studio).

Elliott, L. 2004. A Guide to Wildlife Sounds. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books.

Elliott, L. 2006. The Songs of Wild Birds. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Elliott, L., Hershberger, W. 2007. The Songs of Insects. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Elliott, L., Colver, K. 2008. The Calls of Ducks and Geese. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole.

Elliott, L., Gerhardt, C. & Davidson, C. 2009. The Frogs and Toads of North America. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Note: the above list of references does not include numerous compact-disc only titles.

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