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Culture / Podcast

The Power of Sound

We speak to various audiophiles – from musicians to wildlife recordists to sound engineers, who are at the top of their game – about the expansive nature of sound and its ability to recall memories, evoke emotions and blow our minds. Whether it’s an epiphany at a concert, a sound that brings back your childhood or a moment of clarity from a brilliant pair of speakers, we learn what good audio means to our guests and how it has shaped their lives and careers.

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Latest episode

Johnnie Burn:

Throughout his career as a sound designer, editor and mixer, Johnnie Burn has worked on iconic TV commercials for clients such as Guinness; created the sounds you hear every time you log onto Skype; and developed the sound world for films including Yorgos Lanthimos’s ‘The Lobster’ and ‘The Favourite’ and Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’. In this episode, he discusses how he makes sound choices to enhance a film’s narrative – and why less is sometimes more; how his obsession with audio extends to the musicality of everyday objects; and the childhood trauma that temporarily deafened him and sparked his interest in sound.

Latest episodes

EpisodeDateDescriptionDownloadPlay
514 Jan 2021
13 min

Johnnie Burn: 

Throughout his career as a sound designer, editor and mixer, Johnnie Burn has worked on iconic TV commercials for clients such as Guinness; created the sounds you hear every time you log onto Skype; and developed the sound world for films including Yorgos Lanthimos’s ‘The Lobster’ and ‘The Favourite’ and Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’. In this episode, he discusses how he makes sound choices to enhance a film’s narrative – and why less is sometimes more; how his obsession with audio extends to the musicality of everyday objects; and the childhood trauma that temporarily deafened him and sparked his interest in sound.

DownloadPlay
47 Jan 2021
18 min

The Power of Sound: Susan Rogers: 

When Susan Rogers started out as an audio technician she had no idea that she would eventually contribute to some of the biggest pop hits ever made. She is best known for being Prince’s sound engineer on seminal albums including ‘Purple Rain’, but she has also worked with the likes of David Byrne, KD Lang, Barenaked Ladies and Tricky as an engineer and producer. These days the Californian has turned to education. Rogers currently teaches at the famed Berklee College of Music where her interests lie particularly in psychoacoustics. Rogers tells us about her unexpected path into recording, some mind-blowing moments in the studio and, of course, a few tales about working with Prince.

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317 Dec 2020
10 min

The Power of Sound: Jamie Cullum: 

Grammy-nominated jazz star Jamie Cullum tells us about the making of his first ever Christmas album, ‘The Pianoman at Christmas’. He discusses the keys and chords that make classic Christmas songs, the festive music he was brought up on and why this is also a time of year for the spooky and the melancholic.

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210 Dec 2020
15 min

The Power of Sound: Hannah Peel: 

This week we speak to musician, composer and artist Hannah Peel. Renowned for her work in electronica, sound design and scoring for the screen, Peel is also interested in the intersection of music and science. In her solo work she has explored ideas of memory, neurology and sound, as well as composing a seven-movement odyssey for analogue synths and brass orchestra. Her work for TV and film is Emmy-nominated and most recently she composed the soundtrack for Channel 5 thriller ‘The Deceived’. She talks to us about the role that sound has played in her life: whether that’s recording creaky old houses, the rush of a live concert or the way that sound can trigger some of our oldest memories, even in people whose minds are fading.

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13 Dec 2020
13 min

The Power of Sound: Chris Watson: 

Award-winning sound recordist Chris Watson is one of the leading documenters of the natural world, having recorded wildlife across all continents. Watson is also a musician and was a founding member of experimental group Cabaret Voltaire in the early 1980s. His compositions can be heard across radio and TV, including in the HBO series ‘Chernobyl’ and David Attenborough’s ‘Life’ and ‘Frozen Planet’, and he has been exhibited in the National Gallery and The Louvre. In this episode he talks about where his passion for sound came from, and some of the experiences it has offered him, recording everything from blue whales in Baja to hedgehogs in his Northumberland garden. Plus: we hear recordings from his album ‘Stepping into the Dark’.

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