Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening will be published to coincide with the radio series and spans 100,000 years of aural history. The book gives readers the opportunity to discover more of the personal and social background to the stories featured in the radio series. Meet the drummers who, in prehistoric caves, used natural acoustics to recreate the sounds they heard; classical European orators who turned the voice into a lyrical instrument; and confront the roar of sound that surrounds us in modern metropolises. Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening is published by Profile in March 2013.
“One of the oldest parish bells in England can be found inside the church of St Lawrence in Caversfield, near Oxford. Cast in the early years of the thirteenth century, it’s now standing at rest in one corner of the ground floor, but nearly 800 years ago it would have been positioned more strategically, near the top of St Lawrence’s square Saxon tower. When St Lawrence’s bell was in place and being rung, its rich treble tones would have been heard not just by those inside the church below, but by anyone outside for miles around: by those resting inside their homes, by those passing through the village on foot or horseback, by those toiling away in the fields nearby. Everyone would have heard it, ringing at noon or in the afternoon on workdays, in the morning on Sundays and holy days – and they would have known immediately to stop everything and celebrate Mass.”