Latest Entries
A microphone is not a telescope

A microphone is not a telescope

I envy astronomers who can use powerful telescopes to peer back into the past and view galaxies as they were millions, billions of years ago. We cannot use a microphone to pick up past noises because as sounds pass through the air their energy dissipates quickly. Aliens looking back at earth could see dinosaurs but … Continue reading

The sound world of slaves

The sound world of slaves

It was disturbing to discover that the slave cabins at the McLeod Plantation in Charleston now look so picturesque. Painted white, nestled amongst the shade of South Carolina’s moss-laden Live Oak trees and the odd magnolia bush, they’re little havens of quiet – or, at least they would be, were it not for the nearby … Continue reading

Hearing is believing

Hearing is believing

We’ve come to Harvard University where experimenters in the 1930s found that when listeners hear a disembodied voice over loudspeakers they can’t but help jump to conclusions about the person doing the talking. They infuse these strangers with personality, making judgements about their politics, their mood, even their appearance. A second experiment got one group … Continue reading

What is hush anyway?

What is hush anyway?

Today we captured the hushed atmosphere of a 1920’s skyscraper – the first office building to be designed with sound-proofing in mind from the start. The New York Life Insurance Building has wall insulation made mashed up cow hair and heavy duty windows. What is hush anyway? Not complete silence but people in the distance … Continue reading

First days in New York

First days in New York

We’re now starting out on the busiest stretch of our field recording for the series: the United States, Ghana, Italy, Turkey, and Greece ,with France, Belgium and various sites in the UK to follow in February. Two days into our stay in New York, and one major challenge is all too obvious. How do we … Continue reading

Sounds from the cave

Sounds from the cave

What sounds did our prehistoric ancestors hear? We visited the cave of Arcy-sur-Cure in Burgundy. I brought a head torch.  David’s ipad should have been ideal for script reference but it keep switching to screen save during critical sentences.  Our guide, Iegor Reznikoff is an expert on cave acoustics and was nimble as a goat … Continue reading