Driven by his passion for bird song, Mark Constantine, founder of Lush Cosmetics, formed his own independent publishing company in 2006 committed to his vision of turning bird watchers into bird listeners. Through our award-winning books, we aim to popularise birdsong.
Since 2000, Mark Constantine, Magnus Robb and Arnoud van den Berg have been building a major new collection of bird sound recordings. Our collection now exceeds 50,000 recordings of more than 1,000 species, with a particular focus on the Western Palaearctic Region making this one of the largest privately owned archives of bird sound recordings in the world.
The Sound Approach aim to popularise birdsong and raise standards in the use of sounds in bird identification. Subjects of particular interest include ageing and sexing birds by their sounds, and recognising hidden biodiversity, ‘new species’, through bird sounds. Besides those of the three main recordists, The Sound Approach collection has also received major contributions from Dick Forsman and Killian Mullarney.
Mark Constantine has been a keen birder since the 1970s. During holidays to Mallorca in the 1980s he became friends with the late Peter Grant, the best teacher a birder could have asked for. It was about this time he began to develop a passionate interest in bird sounds. In 2000, this led him to invite Arnoud van den Berg and Magnus Robb to join him in forming The Sound Approach. Mark is the managing director of cosmetics retailer Lush.
Magnus Robb trained as a musician, and his compositions have included ones for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Scotland. During the mid-1990s, he started recording bird song. Initially it was to provide material for compositions, but bird song soon became his main preoccupation. His paper revealing new crossbill diversity through sounds, published in Dutch Birding in 2000, led to an invitation to join The Sound Approach.
Arnoud van den Berg
Although he may be better known for his bird photography, Arnoud van den Berg has been recording bird sounds together with Cecilia Bosman (see picture) since the 1980s when this involved lugging a recorder the size of a desktop computer around the world with them. Arnoud is one of the founders of the Dutch Birding Association and is chief editor of its bimonthly journal, Dutch Birding. Taxonomy is one of his interests, and he is a member of the influential dutch committee for avian systematic (CSNA). In addition, Arnoud is a long-time Limosa Holidays tour leader and member of the Moroccan rarities committee.