Shhh… do you hear that? It’s the sound of World Listening Day approaching on July 18. World Listening Day is put on every year by the World Listening Project, a nonprofit organization that is “devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practice of listening and field recording.” They explore acoustic ecology, a discipline that studies the relationship between humans and the natural world as mediated through sound. It falls on July 18 to honor the birthday of Raymond Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer and environmentalist who is seen as the founder of acoustic ecology. World Listening Day was established in 2010, and each year the holiday has a specific theme tied to it. Past themes include “H20,” “Sounds Lost & Found,” and “Listen to You!” This year’s theme is “Listening to the Ground,” which asks us to consider the sounds of the literal ground in all its surfaces, from soil to asphalt, whether we’re losing metaphorical ground, and whether we can find new ground by listening for it. So quiet down, open up your ears, and get ready to study soundscapes on World Listening Day.