Running Time:

106 min

Release Date:

November 2018

Recording Location:

Termessos ruins, Gulluk Mountain (Güllük Dagi) Termessos National Park, Turkey

Birdsong Among the Ruins

From the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey, a narrow valley ascends into steep mountains. Rising through pine woodlands, it leads to a small plateau overlooking bare peaks and precipitous drops. For countless ages, this valley and its forests were secluded and filled with birdsong.

Sometime around 2300 years ago, people began establishing a fortified settlement in the upper valley. The high plateau afforded a naturally unassailable site, which they reinforced with walls built from massive blocks of local stone. The city of Termessos grew, its impregnable position saving it several times over the following centuries from rapacious armies unable to breach its natural defences.

Meanwhile, the birds and wildlife found new opportunities; picking over tilled fields, raiding orchards, nesting in stone wall crevices and exploiting food scraps.

Then came a great earthquake. It destroyed the city's aqueduct, and shortly after, the citadel was completely abandoned. Nature reclaimed the valley.

This recording lets you hear what the valley sounds like today. We begin near the ruined Temple of Artemis, its remaining gateway silhouetted against the approaching dawn. The first birdsong swells until the valley echoes with a rich dawn chorus. With daylight, the soundscape settles into ever-shifting patterns of birdsong.

Later we hear the rasping calls of jays, and its fascinating to consider that they may be birds descended from those that once lived alongside the cities' inhabitants. We conclude with the song of a wren drifting across the well-preserved amphitheatre, situated spectacularly in the upper city with a commanding view of the surrounding mountains.

Andrew comments:

"To visit Termessos today is to find its ancient ruins overgrown with mature forest and alive with birdsong. Jays prowl among fallen columns and wrens hop among collapsed walls. Nightingales sing from dense vegetation that has reclaimed the valley floor. Tits and chaffinches flit among the trees that overhang broken pathways and pavements.

"When we visited, I was struck by the effort that had gone into constructing the place. As a work of civilisation it was impressive, but ultimately, nature overtook human effort. Something that could not be foreseen - an earthquake - devastated the city.

"I feel that we are in a comparable situation today, where the processes of nature threaten to overtake us through the global threat of climate change. Except that we are in a position to foresee and act. As I listen to this recording of a landscape reclaimed, it reminds me that nature is resilient and adaptable. To stabilise our climate and preserve our way of life we need to adapt too, not so much our way of living as our core beliefs and ideas.

"Perhaps this album may be heard as a meditation on impermanence, and renewing our relationship with the natural world. Or it may simply be a lovely morning of birdsong."



Audio sample of this album


The Temple of Artemis in the Predawn: Scops and Tawny Owls



The Dawn Chorus: Nightingales & Blackbirds



The Dawn Chorus: Rüppell's Warblers



Songs of a Serin and Solo Warbler



Great Tits and Krüpper's Nuthatch



Nightingale Solo I



Nightingale Solo II



Chaffinches and Chukars



The Jays of Termessos



A Wren Sings at the Amphitheatre



Serin Calls and a Flight of Greenfinches


Purchase this
album as:

Digital Album

(for immediate download)


Download this album
for as little as $7.50 -
View Special Deals

(Prices AU$, exGST)

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.

Our mp3 files are free of any DRM (digital rights management), so you can transfer them to any of your media technology. You've paid for them, they're yours for your personal use without restriction.

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.

Obviously the file sizes are larger than for the mp3 version - usually around 300-400Mb for an album, compared to 100Mb for an mp3 album.

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: