don latarski

Channeling Oregon Sounds and Sights

Experiencing the natural acoustic and visual worlds of Don Latarski


Story by GARY FERRINGTON
Photos and Videos by DON LATARSKI


Don Latarski is fascinated by how easily people can distract themselves from today’s human-created cacophony by adding layers of sound — from a TV, radio, or ear buds. The Eugene-based composer/guitarist suspects most people have become quite uncomfortable with silence. Even he, like most musicians, has listened to hours of recorded music as background. “Is this why the TV is on in many homes 24-7?” he wonders. 

Don Latarski

A more rewarding respite for Latarski comes not from adding more human sounds, but instead from the soundtrack of life that nature once provided. And he’s found a fruitful way to bring those sounds to the ears even of people disconnected from nature — by combining them with original music. Latarski’s new album,Wind Water Wing: Nature Voices of Oregon, blends the sounds of Oregon’s birds, frogs, flowing streams, and other environmental sources with the musical drone of his unique wind and water guitars. The result, he suggests, will remind listeners of a hike through the wetlands, up a forested mountain trail, or along a lake or flowing stream — a soundscape experience that he believes will be “good for the brain and soul.”

Latarski’s embrace of nature transcends its sounds. Recently, he has also found in photography another way to explore its wonder and mystery.

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