Sound Matters

Sound Matters


A series of podcasts looking at – and listening to – all the sounds of the world around us. Forthcoming instalments will investigate all kinds of sounds that happen in our noisy cosmos, how we listen to them, the stories we tell about them, and all the ideas, inventions, discoveries, possibilities and ideas that live in the realm of the audible. Written and produced by Tim Hinman with B&O PLAY


08 – The Good, The Bad And The Smelly  

How can you tell the difference between a good sound and a bad sound? There’s not much that’s more annoying than to be forced to listen to a bad sound – but what do we mean when we call something a bad sound, and is that bad sound heard and understood in the same way by different people? In this final episode of our podcast series, host Tim Hinman argues that it’s all relative –good sound and bad sound. But relative to exactly what? That’s the hard part. Featuring Mark Grimshaw, Professor of Music at Aalborg University and Andreas Hudelmayer, a luthier working out of Clerkenwell, London.

07 - The Animals Outside Your Window  

Have a listen to the sounds going on outside your window. What can you hear? A car passing by, maybe an airplane flying overhead, a few birds chirping away in a tree in front of your house, a couple of dogs play fighting in next door’s garden? Tim Hinman presents a lazy man’s guide to exploring the sounds of the natural world – specifically noises of the animal kind. Tim speaks with radio producer Colette Kinsella, who lives right in the middle of Dublin Zoo and records the nocturnal sounds of the animals after all us humans have gone to bed, and Greg Budney, Curator for Collections, Development and Outreach at the McCauly Library a project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University – the largest archive for biodiversity audio and video recordings in the world.

06 - Snowflakes And Metal Hammers  

What’s the sound of snow falling? The question might sound like a riddle or the start of some joke but for composer and sound designer Yann Coppier snow and ice are rich materials for making sounds and art. In this episode of our Sound Matters podcast series, host Tim Hinman focuses his ears on the specialist field of sound art – meeting and speaking with Coppier about his time recording in Greenland and how he makes those sounds part of his art, and Jacob Kirkegaard whose interest in the sounds of Chernobyl, the inner ear and Ethiopia informs his own artistic practice.

05 – New Ears And Strange Rooms  

What we hear and the way we hear it has everything to do with who we are, where we are, what we are, what we can see and feel and what we know about the world around us, because we grew up in it. We take hearing for granted unless, of course, you were born deaf and never heard anything – just like Jo Milne, our guest in this episode of Sound Matters. Milne was deaf until she was forty years old when she had cochlear implants, an experience that was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Tim Hinman visits Milne a year after she first heard the world, as well as visiting a reverb chamber and an anechoic room with Finn Agerkvist of the Danish Technical University to find out what hearing nothing might sound like.

04 – Brains, Cars And Tigers  

There’s a problem with your brain… well, not your brain specifically, but there’s a problem when it comes to neuroscientists understanding how your brain works when you’re listening to stuff. In the past few years there have been massive advancements in mapping out the parts of your brain that are activated when when you hear. But the closer we look, the more complicated it gets. What exactly, in all that insanely complex network of neural connections, is going on in your head that makes it possible to hear sounds, filter out only the most important parts, and understand what they mean? In our fourth instalment, intrepid host Tim Hinman meets Trevor Cox, a professor of acoustics and perception, and gets the lowdown on what’s up with the brain and how (we think) it cognates sound.

03 – Zombie Movie Piano Music  

A zombie growls, a piano plays – this episode of Sound Matters gets into a cinematic frame of mind. In it, Tim Hinman meets two exponents of sound in cinema, both of them want to control how you feel, how you react and how you see the movie on the screen in front of you. Get comfortable in your seat, take that first handful of popcorn and meet film sound designer Peter Albrechtsen who tells us how he makes movies leap out and grab at you using sound, and musician and composer Neil Brand who plays live accompaniment to early, silent films.

02 – Music, Memory And Auditory Angels  

"Without music we’d simply be something other than human beings.” Birthdays, weddings, festivals, funerals and more – pretty much every important human event is marked by music, and our brains take it all in, no matter how distant or vague those memories become. In this episode we meet Paul Robertson, violinist and professor in music and medicine, who has spent years working with people who are ill, suffering from dementia and brain damage. From a distant childhood memory of a fragment of a song to a mass of Rugby fans singing together in harmony, we discover how the music embedded in our memories and dreams can be used by people whose fabric of identity has come under stress and need help to find their way back to themselves.

01 – The Sound Of Life Itself  

The first episode in a new series of podcasts looking at – and listening to – the sounds of the world around us. The forthcoming instalments will look at all aspects of our noisy cosmos and how we listen to it, the stories we tell about it, and all the ideas, inventions, discoveries, possibilities and ideas that live in the realm of the audible. Written and produced by Tim Hinman. Supported by B&O PLAY We kick off with the ambitiously titled episode "The Sound Of Life Itself" where we meet field recordist, sound ecologist and musician Bernie Krause.

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