Running Time:

64 min

Release Date:

July 2014

Recording Location:

Loru Rainforest Reserve, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Pacific Rainforest - Vanuatu

The reef-fringed islands of the Vanuatu group lie in the subtropical western Pacific Ocean. Their geographic isolation has lead to the evolution of species found nowhere else on earth.

Within earshot of waves breaking in the distance, we explore one of the Vanuatu's lowland rainforests. The mellow whistles of Southern Shrikebills are the first endemic species we hear. Another, the Fan-tailed Gerygone, creates a tinkling song like delicate chimes, while the soft calls of MacKinlay's Cuckoo Doves permeate the forest. A pervasive but soft insect chorus emanates from the canopy above, punctuated by the sharp calls of a pair of Melanesian Cuckoo-shrikes.

A high-pitched twittering song announces an inquisitive Streaked Fantail, and later a pair of Buff-bellied Monarchs chatter animatedly. The fluid song of Golden Whistlers is heard nearby and finally the deep, rich voices of Pacific Imperial Pigeons.

This album takes you to a exotic part of the world, to encounter rarely-heard species in a subtropical paradise.

Sarah comments:

"This recording was made in a rainforest reserve on the edge of Loru village. The chief of the village had the vision to protect this primary forest intact, when so much of Vanuatu's lowland landscape has been cleared or modified. His son accompanied us, formally as a guide but in practice as a friendly host and invaluable companion. We spent ten days there, camping on the edge of the forest, enjoying a simple lifestyle that involved plucking fruit from trees and fishing in the nearby ocean. On occasions our field work can be arduous, but this wasn't one of them."


Audio sample of this album


Southern Shrikebill, MacKinlay's Cuckoo Dove, New Caledonian Kingfisher & Fan-tailed Gerygone



Melanesian Cuckoo-shrike



Streaked Fantails



Collared Kingfisher, Buff-bellied Monarch & Red-bellied Fruit Dove



Golden Whistler & Vanuatu Megapode



Vanuatu White-eye, Melanesian Flycatcher & Pacific Imperial Pigeons


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About the audio formats


Mp3 is a universal audio format, playable on iPods, computers, media players and mobile phones.

Mp3 is a compressed format, allowing smaller filesizes, offering faster download times and requiring less storage space on players, but at some expense to the audio quality. Many listeners can't really hear the difference between mp3 and full CD-quality audio, and hence its convenience has lead to it becoming the default option for audio.

Our albums are generally encoded at around 256kbps (sometimes with VBR), balancing optimal audio quality without blowing out filesizes excessively. We encode using the Fraunhoffer algorithm, which preserves more detail in the human audible range than the lame encoder.

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Mp3 files can be burned to disc, either as an mp3 disc, or an audio CD after converting them to a standard audio (.wav or .aif) format first.


FLAC is a high-quality audio format, allowing CD-resolution audio. It is ideal if you wish to burn your files to a CDR, or listen over a high resolution audio system. However files usually require special decoding by the user before playing or burning to disc.

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a LOSSLESS compressed audio format. This means that it preserves the full audio quality of a CD, but optimises the filesize for downloading. Typically, file sizes of around 60% are achieved without any degradation or loss of audio quality from the source files at the CD standard of 16bit/44.1kHz.

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In addition, you'll need to know what to do with the files once you've downloaded them. In most cases you'll want to decode the files to wav or aiff, either to import into programs like iTunes, or burn to CDR. Some programs will play flac files natively.

There is a lot of information about flac online (eg: